KIEV, Ukraine, Sept. 10 (UPI) -- The Ukrainian government announced that natural gas production in the country increased by nearly 1 percent for the first seven months of the year.
A source in the Ukrainian Energy Ministry told Interfax-Ukraine that gas extraction in the country increased 0.9 percent from January to July compared to the same time last year. That represents about 400 billion cubic meters of natural gas production.
The report didn't break down the reserves in terms of field potential. The U.S. Geological Survey in 2007 estimated discovered reserve potential in Ukraine's Dnieper-Donets basin at around 1.6 billion barrels of oil and 59 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuri Boiko said increasing domestic production was of national interest. The country's gas transit network hosts the bulk of Russia's natural gas designated for European markets. Contractual disputes with Moscow, however, have exposed geopolitical vulnerabilities in the route, sparking a push to diversify regional pipeline networks.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates Ukraine has around 42 trillion cubic feet of shale gas reserves, putting it No. 3 among European countries.