Ukraine makes oil discovery

July 12, 2013 at 6:55 AM

KIEV, Ukraine, July 12 (UPI) -- An energy company in Ukraine announced an oil discovery in the Budyshchansky-Chutivsky field in the central Poltava region.

Energy company Naftogaz said it was able to generate an oil flow during preliminary tests at a well in the central region. The company said it was operating under a special license for pilot commercial development of the Budyshchansky-Chutivsky field.

Naftogaz estimates the field could hold as much as 100 million barrels of oil, the National News Agency of Ukraine reported Thursday.

Naftogaz Deputy Chief Executive Officer Oleksandr Katsuba said his company was working to extract additional natural gas deposits associated with the field.

Natural gas transit company Ukrtransgas said Thursday the amount of natural gas sent to European consumers was up nearly 25 percent compared to the same time last year.

Ukraine is working to break the Russian grip on its national energy sector. Former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko is serving a seven-year prison sentence on corruption charges related to a deal she helped broker in 2009 with Russian energy company Gazprom.

The Ukrainian government estimates it has enough natural gas deposits in shale to cut imports significantly. Oil production is minor when compared to natural gas.

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