Naftogaz Held Talks with Exxon, Chevron, Halliburton About Energy Projects in Ukraine -FT

(Reuters) — Ukrainian state-owned gas company Naftogaz has held talks with Exxon Mobil Corp., Halliburton and Chevron about projects in Ukraine as the country looks to lure back foreign investment to its energy sector, the Financial Times reported on Friday.

Oleksiy Chernyshov, chief executive of Naftogaz, told the FT that he held meetings in Washington with Halliburton and ExxonMobil in recent days.

"We understand that it's rather hard for the private companies to step in during the war," he told the newspaper, adding that they are working on insurance mechanisms to protect their equity.

The talks with Exxon and Chevron are at an early stage and would take longer to yield results, FT said.

Naftogaz hopes to sign a contract with Halliburton that would help increase production to a target of 13.5 Bcm this year, a jump of about 1 Bcm from 2022 levels, the report added.

Naftogaz, Chevron, Exxon and Halliburton did not immediately respond to Reuters' request for comment.

The talks are a part of Ukraine's push to increase natural gas production. Ukraine has substantial reserves of natural gas, but consumption far outstrips production and the country is forced to import gas.

Earlier this week, Naftogaz said it had started pumping gas into underground storage facilities for next winter.

Ukraine, which used to be a main buyer of Russian gas, has not been importing gas directly from Russia since 2015, instead buying it from the European Union. Last month, Chernyshov said he plans to increase its natural gas production by more than 5% in 2023 to 19 Bcm despite the Russian invasion.

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