KIEV, February 5 (RIA Novosti) - The United States is ready to share with Ukraine the technology behind environmentally friendly production of shale gas, the Ukrainian Energy Ministry said on Tuesday.
During a meeting on Monday of the Ukrainian-US working group on energy security, Ukraine’s Environment and Natural Resources Minister Eduard Stavitsky said his country intends to reduce imports of energy resources and increase domestic natural gas production.
US Department of State’s Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs Carlos Pascual, who also attended the meeting of the working group, said the United States has technologies for ecologically safe production of shale gas and was ready to share its know-how with Ukraine.
Two weeks ago, Ukraine, which is believed to have one of Europe's three largest shale gas reserves, signed a $10 billion contract with Royal Dutch Shell to develop the Yuzovsky shale gas deposit.
Stavitsky earlier said that exploration drilling at the Yuzovsky block, with estimated reserves of over four trillion cubic meters, was expected to start this year, and production at the field may commence in 2015.
Ukrainian environmentalists and a number of political parties voiced their disagreement over shale gas production, also known as fracking, fearing seismic risks and drinking water pollution.
Ukraine has long been seeking to alter the terms of the 2009 gas deal it signed with Russia. The deal ties the price of gas to that of oil, which has risen sharply since 2009, hiking Ukraine's gas bill.