Ukraine Eyes New Drilling Method as Key to Energy Independence

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The Ukrainian government, long reliant on imported sources of energy to power the country, is aggressively pursuing the latest advances in natural gas drilling in hopes of tapping into large reserves trapped in shale deep underground.

The former Soviet state is working with major energy companies to explore reserves in shale formations now accessible because of the controversial drilling technology, known as fracking, in which a mix of water, chemicals, and sand is pumped into the ground to release the gas.

In addition, the government recently passed legislation aimed at enticing energy developers to the country, and has reached an accord with the European Union that opens Ukraine’s pipeline system to Western companies.

Ukraine currently is highly dependent on natural gas imports from Russia’s state-owned monopoly, Gazprom, which has halted supplies to Ukraine in pricing disputes twice in the last five years. However, Ukraine controls the pipelines through which Gazprom moves its gas to Europe.

Article appearing courtesy Yale Environment 360.

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Yale Environment 360 is an online magazine offering opinion, analysis, reporting and debate on global environmental issues. We feature original articles by scientists, journalists, environmentalists, academics, policy makers, and business people, as well as multimedia content and a daily digest of major environmental news. Yale Environment 360 is published by the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Yale University. We are funded in part by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The opinions and views expressed in Yale Environment 360 are those of the authors and not of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies or of Yale University.

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