MOSCOW, Jan. 17 (UPI) -- The Russian Natural Resources Ministry said Friday it was concerned hydraulic fracturing in neighboring Ukraine could pollute regional water supplies.
The ministry issued a statement Friday saying it was concerned about the prospects for shale natural gas development in neighboring Ukraine.
Hydraulic fracturing, known also as fracking, uses large quantities of water mixed with potentially harmful chemicals to get at oil and natural gas deposits locked in shale formations. Environmental groups have expressed concern some of that water could eventually spoil drinking water supplies.
Deputy Environment Minister Rinat Gizatulin said there are real concerns about contamination because potential drilling sites may be in close proximity to aquifers.
He said Friday a letter was sent to his Ukrainian counterparts calling for a bilateral meeting to address the issue.
Chevron and Royal Dutch Shell are among the energy companies interested in developing Ukrainian shale. The government said there may be enough natural gas in shale reserve areas to meet the country's needs without imports.
Ukraine and Russia have a stormy relationship over natural gas issues. Russian energy company Gazprom cut natural gas supplies to Ukraine most recently in 2009 because of payment concerns.