Ukrainian company Nadra Yuzivska LLC and Royal Dutch Shell signed an operating agreement that actually permits the start of work at the Yuzivska shale gas field.

"This is the agreement that provides full permission for direct investment in and work at the Yuzivska field in our country," Ukrainian energy and coal industry minister Eduard Stavytsky stated, Interfax-Ukraine reported.

The minister explained that since the day of the signing Shell de jure and de facto starts its work in Ukraine.

In keeping with the terms of the tender won by Shell, the company will invest about $500 million in prospecting, and total investment in industrial development and the installation of infrastructure in the Yuzivska block is estimated at about $10 billion [the figure is stipulated in the agreement].

"According to experts, and this was said in the presence of the prime minister, we expect liberated gas as early as late in 2014," Stavytsky said.

In his words, 15 exploration wells are to be drilled, and then one may speak about exact amounts of shale gas in the Yuzivska block.

The agreement was signed during Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov’s visit to the Netherlands on September 12, 2013.

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