Ukraine Eyes New Drilling Method as Key to Energy Independence

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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