Ukrainian state-owned gas company Naftogaz has discussed potential energy projects in Ukraine with three US oil companies including Halliburton, ExxonMobil and Chevron, reported the Financial Times (FT).
The move comes amid the country’s efforts to attract foreign investment and increase natural gas production to help replace Russian supplies to Europe.
Naftogaz chief executive Oleksiy Chernyshov told the FT that the company held meetings in recent days in the US with Halliburton and ExxonMobil. Naftogaz also met with officials from Chevron in January 2023.
Chernyshov said: “We understand that it is rather hard for the private companies to step in during the war.
“We are working on insurance mechanisms to protect their equity. For sure, it will take some time, but we don’t wait – we go ahead.”
Naftogaz anticipates concluding a deal with Halliburton soon. This contract is expected to help increase Naftogaz’s production to 13.5bn cubic metres this year, up by about one billion cubic metres from 2022 levels.
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The Ukraine-based company is in early talks with Exxon and Chevron. These talks are expected to take longer time to yield results, reported the FT.
Naftogaz, however, was open to having different arrangements with Exxon and Chevron.
Exxon and Chevron currently do not have operations in Ukraine.
Chernyshov noted: “We will welcome them. We can do joint production on gas together, PSA agreement – production sharing agreement – they can have a licence and produce by themselves, we will welcome it.”
Recently, JSC Ukrtransgaz, Ukraine’s gas storage operator and part of Naftogaz Group, initiated gas pumping into underground storage facilities for next winter.