KIEV, April 23 Global energy majors have placed bids in tenders for two potentially large shale gas fields in Ukraine, Environment and Natural Resources Minister Eduard Stavitsky said on Monday, adding that the government would pick winners in a month.
One contract area, Yuzovska, is located in the eastern Donetsk and Kharkiv regions. The other, Olesska, is in the western Lviv region.
Ukraine's State Geological Service estimates the reserves of the Yuzovska area at 2 trillion cubic metres and those of Olesska at 0.8 to 1.5 trillion cubic metres.
"Chevron CVX.N> and Eni have bid for Olesska (contract area)," Stavitsky told reporters. "Exxon Mobil , Shell and TNK-BP for Yuzivska."
"The final decisions (will be announced) no later than 1800 on May 23, 2012," he said.
According to the U.S. state Energy Information Administration, Ukraine has Europe's fourth-largest shale gas reserves at 42 trillion cubic feet (1.2 trillion cubic metres), trailing Poland, France and Norway.
The State Geological Service has also said the Yuzovska area would require $250-$300 million in exploration investments, while Olesska would need $150-$200 million. Tender application fees were $1.9 million for Yuzovska and $1.3 million for Olesska.
Energy-hungry Ukraine is keen to launch shale gas production in order to ease its dependence on Russia, which it says is charging an exorbitant price for its gas. (Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov, editing by William Hardy)