Thursday, 4 August 2011

Ukraine shows signs of opening energy sector to investors

Some analysts have described the current state of affairs a golden opportunity.

While Ukraine has made some progress in recent years in encouraging alternative energy production through wind and solar projects, experts say the only way to wean the country off expensive energy supplies from Russia is to attract foreign investment and expertise.

There are signs that Ukraine’s government is finally starting to listen and may be prepared to open up the energy sector, long monopolized by powerful oligarchic groups, to major international energy giants.

Those foreign companies that haven’t been deterred from facing years of barriers from operating in Ukraine may finally find more luck in developing unconventional gas resources, such as shale and methane gas, or investing in the country’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal.

At the moment, none of the potential deals have progressed further than preliminary discussions, indications of interest and the signing of non-legally binding memorandums of understanding. But such unexpected activity in the energy sector has prompted many experts in Ukraine and abroad to claim that the government has finally seen the light.

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