By Ellsworth Dickson
In a presentation at the recent Prospectors and Developers of Canada Convention in Toronto, Canada, Taras Kuzmych, Chairman of National Joint Stock Company (NJSC), Nadra Ukrany, outlined the many activities of the state-owned Ukrainian exploration company.
The company carries out geological exploration and invests in projects in the exploration and production sector in the country – mostly oil and gas projects but some mineral projects as well.
Although Nadra Ukrany has been in existence in one form or another for about 80 years, the current state company was formed in 2000 “….to improve minerals supply for country’s needs [and] to reserve and increase geological enterprises’ potential.”
Considering the tumultuous events Ukraine has had to endure during the 20th century, it is remarkable that the NJSC has explored over 1,800 oil fields, discovered over 350 hydrocarbon deposits, drilled over 1,000 wells and added 2.9 billion tons of fuel reserves with the result that both state-owned and private enterprises represent about 95% of hydrocarbons in Ukraine.
The company has noted that these include hundreds of oil and condensate deposits such as: Shebelinske, Yablunivske, Radchenkivske, Sahaydatske, Mihaylivske, Rybalske, Anastasiyivske that have been discovered, tested and put into operation.
Recently, the NJSC has been modernizing its corporate structure and auditing its Joint Activity Agreements. The company is currently offering a selection of blocks, minerals and cooperating frameworks to investors covering the entire country. Bidding by investors is competition based.
For the oil & gas sector, the NJSC is involved in geological exploration, field development and analysis of wells, environmental monitoring and impact analysis R&D, laboratory studies of core, drilling mud and related activities, including engineering and geological research.
Nadra Ukrany has also been involved with exploring and developing various mineral commodities, including the Dashukivske clay deposit, Muzhiyivske gold and polymetallic ore deposit, coal deposits of the Lviv-Volyn coal basin, native sulphur and potassium salt deposits in the Carpathian region of Ukraine, the Dnieper brown coal basin, the Klintsy native gold deposit (the first Ukrainian gold was extracted out of its ore), and even mineral waters as Naftusya, Morshinska, Polyana Kwasova and Shayanska, as well as numerous deposits of decorative and construction brick.
There are several ways foreign investors can participate such as a Production Sharing Agreement (PSA), a Production Enhancement Contract and Joint Activity.
One example that is available is a farm-in PSA opportunity in the Oleska Oil and Gas Project in western Ukraine. This would involve E&P of conventional and unconventional hydrocarbons. Other oil & gas opportunities are also available.
There are also partnership opportunities for mineral development as well, including titanium in the Zhytomyr region, zirconium in the Krasnorichenske ilmenite field and zirconium, vanadium and scandium in the Paromivske ilmenite field. Scandium is a rare and valuable metal capable of increasing the strength of aluminum to that of steel, making the alloy especially useful for aircraft applications.
Blessed with petroleum and mineral wealth, Ukraine is keen on developing its natural resources and is welcoming foreign investors to participate in a variety of projects.