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Major fracking campaign starts in Ukraine

July 3, 2013 at 8:40 AM

LONDON, July 3 (UPI) -- An energy company operating in Ukraine said it started what it believes to be the largest hydraulic fracturing operation in Europe to date.

British-based exploration and production company JKX Oil & Gas said it started a multi-stage hydraulic fracturing operation at its Rudenkovskoye license area in eastern Ukraine.

The company said the operation, which will take place in nine stages, will last around 40 days. Schlumberger, the contractor hired to handle the campaign, expects to inject 1.47 million gallons of hydraulic fracturing fluid underground, "making it probably the largest onshore frack in Europe to date," JKX said in a Tuesday statement.

The company said it plans to spend at least two weeks on cleanup operations.

"We remain confident that the application of this proven technique for tight gas reservoirs will allow us to develop commercially the very large gas in-place in the Rudenkovskoye field," Chief Executive Officer Paul Davies said in a statement.

JKX gave no indication of the reserve potential for the eastern Ukrainian field.

Shell in January signed a $10 billion contract to explore Ukrainian shale. Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said there may be enough natural gas in shale plays to meet the country's needs without imports.

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