Ukraine’s state-run company Chornomornaftogaz on Wednesday started commercial operation of the Odessa natural gas deposit on the Black Sea shelf.
President Viktor Yanukovych pushed the button launching the gas flow at one of the three boreholes.
The Odessa deposit has estimated reserves of 22 billion cubic meters. The gas produced there will be fed into Crimea’s gas supply system.
Yanukovych said that by launching the Odessa operation Ukraine has taken an important step toward acquiring “energy independence.”
By the end of the year Chornomornaftogaz is planning to raise production to 53 billion cubic meters.
By 2015, production should hit 1 billion cubic meters a year.