KIEV, Ukraine, Dec. 9 (UPI) -- Ukraine could boost its own energy security by attracting investors to the oil and gas deposits in the Black Sea and Sea of Azov, the government said.
The Ukrainian Fuel and Energy Ministry estimates there are at least 100 million tons of oil and more than 1 trillion cubic feet of gas locked in its Black Sea waters, the National News Agency of Ukraine reports.
Energy Minister Yury Boiko said that his ministry and state energy company Naftogaz have "developed the proper concept of development of hydrocarbon deposits on the Ukrainian Black Sea and Sea of Azov shelf for a period up to 2019 to be considered by the government."
His comments come as talks continued between Naftogaz and Russian energy monopoly Gazprom over a possible joint venture.
Alexei Miller, the top executive at Gazprom, hosted Boiko at his Moscow headquarters last week. Both sides, Miller said, agreed to set up joint ventures to explore developments offshore in the Black Sea.
Both sides also considered strengthening the ties between the two energy companies.
The issue of a joint venture was first raised in April when Kiev was pushing for a better natural gas deal with Russia.