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Four companies won the right to develop oil and gas reserves at the Ukrainian deep marine shelf field Scythian under the Black Sea, according to Eduard Stavytskyi, Ukrainian minister for ecology and natural resources. American ExxonMobil, Dutch-British Royal Dutch Shell, Romanian OMV Petrom, and Ukrainian state company Nadra will unlock the underwater deposits.
Scythian field is "massive in size" (16,698 sq km) and "adjacent and geologically similar to where ExxonMobil and OMV Petrom are exploring off Romania's coast," The Financial Times quotes an unnamed Ukrainian government official. The Ukrainian government chose the joint bid by four companies over the bid by Russia's oil giant Lukoil.
"Bringing in the energy majors is a paradigm shift for Ukraine's energy security and investment climate. No deals of this magnitude have yet been inked in this country," said the president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine Jorge Zukoski in his interview to the British press.
Group, led by Exxon, will pay at least $300 million for the right to sign a 50-year production agreement with the Ukrainian government within ten days after signing. Their bid also stipulates investing $400 million during the initial phase of the exploration. This is double of what the Ukrainian government was initially aiming for.
The commercial production at Scythian oil and gas field may start in six to eight years and reach three to four billion cu m of gas annually.