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The Gas war continues

will USA get the Crimean gas from Ukraine?

President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky invited US companies to participate in the development of the Black Sea shelf. He stated this during a meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.


– We invite a large American business to participate in Ukrainian natural gas and oil production projects. We look forward to the participation of American companies in competitions for the development of the Black Sea shelf, – he said, adding that Kiev is ready to develop new forms of cooperation with the United States in the field of security.


In turn, Pompeo emphasized that “there is a lot of work” between Ukraine and the USA, in particular, Washington sees economic opportunities for its enterprises in Ukraine.


Zelensky’s proposal came against the backdrop of recent statements by representatives of Ukrgasodobycha, a subsidiary of Naftogaz, about the depletion of five of the country’s most important gas fields. As announced on the company’s Facebook page, the Yablunovskoye field is depleted by 79%, Efremovskoye and Melekhovskoye by 82%, Shebelinskoye by 89%, and Zapadno-Krestischenskoye by 90%.


The company also noted that funds are currently being invested in the search for new resources. According to Ukrgazodobycha, last year it was possible to discover three new deposits by 2.15 billion cubic meters of blue fuel, and increase recoverable reserves by almost 15 billion cubic meters. m, and also prepare for drilling facilities with a resource base of 17.7 billion cubic meters. m of gas.


The company previously reported that their own gas production in 2019 fell by 2 billion cubic meters. m, up to 13.62 billion. The company recognized that the gas reserves technologically easy to extract in Ukraine were almost exhausted, and therefore it was necessary to develop technical competencies for the production of “complex” gas, including in the field of deep drilling and offshore production.


According to Naftogaz, in 2018, almost 21 billion cubic meters were mined in the country. m of gas. The share of Ukrgasvydobuvannya left 73.8% of the total volume (15.5 billion cubic meters).


Recall that Kiev provides its own needs for natural gas not only through domestic production, but also through “reverse” supplies of Russian fuel from Europe. The transit contract signed on the eve of the New Year allowed Ukraine to continue these deliveries.


Ukraine lost most of its reserves on the Black Sea shelf together with Crimea in 2014, but did not recognize this, continuing to regard them as the property of Chernomorneftegaz, as well as the company itself. Is it Kiev who is going to trade with the Americans? But this is from a dead donkey’s ears …


– I would like to hope that there is no question of investing in the development of the Crimean shelf, it is unlikely that the States will even dare to discuss such a provocation,” said political analyst Alexander Dudchak.


– Why? For example, in Georgia they seriously trade land in Abkhazia. Why not Kiev try to sell deposits on the Crimean shelf: like, we are the rightful owners, and the whole world recognizes this.


– It is futile. It was akin to declaring war on Russia. It is unlikely that even the United States needs it. But Ukraine also has a continental shelf on which hydrocarbon reserves have been discovered. Another question is whether American investors will be interested in their volumes.


– Kiev, as you know, is suing for departed deposits in the Crimea. What can he achieve by this, and how will Russia react?


– Courts in the West are extremely biased, politically motivated, but there is a limit to everything. Crimeans lived on their land and with it left those who had seized power in the country by criminal means. Not everyone succeeds, because we see the 10-million exodus of residents from the country, and the war in the Donbass. It is unlikely that attempts to sue will be successful for Kiev in this case.


– Zelensky’s statement on inviting American business to develop the Black Sea shelf was made the day after Ukrgazodobycha announced the depletion of five of the country’s most important gas fields …


  • Ukraine is not Saudi Arabia, stocks are incomparable, old ones are depleted, new ones are found, but they are not as significant as Kiev and foreign investors would like. After 2014, insignificant hydrocarbon deposits were found in the Poltava and Kharkov regions. But investment in exploration was not sufficient.


– How interesting can this be to Americans? Why was American business in no hurry there until 2014, or after?


– Until then, Ukraine had sovereignty and tried to solve its problems on its own, attracting foreign investors, including from the United States. And “they were not in a hurry,” because not all offers from abroad suited Ukraine, and this was quite fair. But now – not the state, but the entrance yard – they are ready to sell it, to hand in a concession, and give it to the older overseas brother as a tribute.


– Pompeo, in turn, noted that “there is a lot of work” between Washington and Kiev, in particular, the US sees economic opportunities for its enterprises in Ukraine. Which for example?


– Not necessarily Pompeo had in mind exactly business, the current administration would like to receive information about the activities of its American predecessors in Ukraine. A fair investigation, most likely, could have “killed several birds with one stone” – and proved that there was no reason to impeach Trump, and would have uncovered corruption of the Obama administration in Ukraine by the Biden family, and would dispel myths about the Maidan – showing that it was not “A revolution of dignity,” a commercial project for the enrichment of specific US officials.


  • After 2014, Ukraine lost almost all the deposits on the Black Sea shelf and the equipment necessary for their extraction, but there are promising areas near the Ukrainian coast, in particular, not far from Odessa, – said Roman Travin, political scientist and project manager for Open Analytics.
  • And today Kiev is looking for opportunities to begin their development.
  • Zelensky Pompeo’s proposal was made the day after Ukrgazodobycha announced the depletion of five of the country’s most important gas fields.
  • It is clear that Ukraine is not Qatar or Turkmenistan, but there is still some gas in Ukraine, and even production will continue in these fields in the coming years. In addition, it may be possible to find new ones. So, not only in the coming years, but also decades, some volume will be mined in Ukraine.


But the 2 billion cubic meters that were discovered is practically nothing. Nationwide, not enough for a month. Not enough to fully cover the needs of the country, and 17.7 billion cubic meters. But in any case, it’s better than nothing, many countries don’t even have one, so this is a serious help today to supply the country with gas.


It’s another matter that today the Ukrainian consumer is less and less happy that the country has its own gas, although with more rational and socially oriented approaches, such an amount of gas produced in Ukraine could provide significantly lower prices for the consumer.

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