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$400-500 mln to be invested in two natural gas fields in Ukraine

KIEV, August 21 (RIA Novosti) - Some $400-500 million will be invested in the development of two of Ukraine's offshore natural gas deposits, the head of state-owned gas producer Naftogaz said Tuesday.

The allocation is expected to come from UkrGazEnergo, a joint venture of Naftogaz and RosUkrEnergo, a supplier of Russian and Central Asian gas to Ukraine which is 50% owned by Russia's Gazprom.

Naftogaz Board Chairman Yevgeny Bakulin said the company was also interested in jointly developing the deposits with UkrGazEnergo and Chernomornaftogaz, a Ukrainian company developing deposits in the Black and Azov seas.

"The state will control 75% of the joint venture's charter capital, on the condition that it will be established by the entities on a parity basis. The company will receive substantial investment, necessary to develop sea deposits." Bakulin said.

Chernomornaftogaz is planning to drill 15 wells in the Odessa and Bezymyannoye deposits in 2007-2009, which hold an estimated 22 billion cubic meters in recoverable reserves.

The company, owned by Naftogaz, is also engaged in the storage, transportation and sale of natural gas to consumers in Ukraine's Crimean peninsula.

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