KIEV, Ukraine, Feb. 15 (UPI) -- Chevron aims to drill as many as 15 wells in Ukraine to tap into shale natural gas reserves similar to those in the United States, an executive said.
Peter Clark, the Chevron manager for Ukraine, told the Kiev Post after winning the rights to the Olesska block in western Ukraine last year that "between five and 15" wells are planned for the region.
"The geologists are pretty sure the shale is there, with their visions of geologic history they think it could be comparable to some of the shales that we're producing from in the United States," he said.
Shale natural gas developments in plays like the Marcellus and Utica plays in the U.S. Midwest have put the United States in a leadership position in terms of reserve potential.
Ukraine aims to wean itself from a contentious energy relationship with Russia. Kiev is locked in a dispute over a $7 billion bill sent by Russian energy company Gazprom for unused natural gas from 2012 covered under a "take-or-pay" contract.
Clark said his company would likely sell any Ukrainian natural gas to the highest bidder.
"The local market is advantageous because the transportation tariff would be less," he said. "So, there is a built-in advantage to use the gas locally."