National joint stock company Naftogaz of Ukraine is considering acquisition of a third drilling rig for exploration of the Black and Azov sea shelf.

This was disclosed by the board chairman of Naftogaz of Ukraine, Yevhen Bakulin, the company's press service reported, according to UKRINFORM.

"We will continue the effort to refurbish our production capacities. Now we are working out the possibility of buying another, third, rig," Bakulin said.

He said the company plans to quickly increase production at the Ukrainian shelf. It is expected that in 2015 natural gas production on the shelf of the Black and Azov seas will reach 3.02 billion cubic meters. Annual production growth will be about 2 billion cubic meters.

Meanwhile, according to the board chairman of SJSC Chornomornaftogaz, Valeriy Yasiuk, without the modern equipment (two jack-up rigs, supply vessels, tugs and a lay barge) purchased, it would be absolutely impossible.

As previously reported, the first of the two jack-up rigs purchased in 2011, Petro Hodovanets, arrived in Ukraine May 10 this year. It is expected that in early June the rig will begin work on the platform BK-1 of the Odesa gas field. Gas supply from the production site to the mainland is scheduled for the beginning of the new heating season, October-November 2012.

The second jack-up rig purchased by Chornomornaftogaz will be put into operation in the Black Sea next year. In June, it will be launched in Singapore.

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