Russia and the Ukraine are negotiating another natural gas deal and once more the Ukraine is worried about another “gas war” similar to that in the winter of 2009 when Russia’s Gazprom shutdown supplies to itself and Europe.

Prior to this year Europe depended on the pipeline through the Ukraine for its natural gas supplies.  When that pipeline shut down Europe had to scramble to find alternative supplies or freeze in the cold winter winds.   Now the Ukraine must battle Gazprom’s monopoly alone.  Last month the Nordstream pipeline under the Baltic Sea opened between Russia and Germany, thus bypassing Ukraine.  At the same time Europe is working towards participating in a southern pipeline route that will bring natural gas supplies from the Caspian Sea by avoiding Russia altogether.

How this current set of negotiations between Russia and the Ukraine will go is unclear.  Yet, according to Rigzone, the future may be different as  the Ukraine looks to substitute its own shale gas for its reliance on Gazprom. Indeed it could even become an exporter of gas.

A report in April of this year from US-based Energy Information Administration said the Ukraine holds Europe’s fourth-largest shale gas reserves estimated at 42 Tcf (1.2 Tcm), behind Poland, France and Norway. Since then the Ukraine has invited in the major oil companies to explore and develop shale gas deposits in hopes of increasing its domestic gas production.

“According to our estimates, and estimates of companies that have either signed or are about to sign the agreements, we will turn into an exporter of gas within 7 to 10 years,”says Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuriy Boyko.

Rigzone adds:

Although Ukrainian shale gas development may be in its infancy, the potential world-wide impact is a “game changer” as it threatens Gazprom’s position as a major gas supplier to 25 European countries.




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