Ukraine, Libya move on energy deals

May 27, 2009 at 12:27 PM
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KIEV, Ukraine, May 27 (UPI) -- The Ukrainian government made preliminary arrangements for the Libyan construction of petroleum refineries in Odessa, officials said.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko met with her Libyan counterpart Baghdadi Mahmudi to sign on to a series of intergovernmental agreements in the energy, military and agricultural sectors.

The refineries will have the capacity to process roughly 73 million barrels of oil each year. Libyan officials are scheduled to arrive in Ukraine "soon" to undergo preliminary economic analysis of the refinery project, Ukrainian news service The Financial reports.

Mahmudi, for his part, expressed his desire to move forward in the Ukrainian energy sector, notably in nuclear energy projects.

"Libya has a number of propositions in nuclear energy domain from other countries but we are striving to collaborate in this area with our Ukrainian friends," he said in statements published by the Ukrainian government.

Ukraine is facing complications in its Soviet-era energy infrastructure, which is suffering as Kiev struggles under the current economic crisis.

A January dispute with Moscow over gas supplies and contracts prompted a regional shift away from Ukraine as a gas transit nation.

Kiev, meanwhile, hopes to shift its Odessa-Brody oil pipeline to its intended direction away from Russia.

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