Photo via Ukrhazvydobuvannia

Ukraine's state energy firm Naftogaz has been negotiating with ExxonMobil, Chevron, and Halliburton about their potential participation in gas production in Ukraine.

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"We understand that it’s rather hard for the private companies to step in during the war," Oleksii Chernyshov, chief executive of Naftogaz, told the Financial Times.

"We are working on insurance mechanisms to protect their equity. For sure, it will take some time. But we don’t wait — we go ahead."

Mr Chernyshov said that Naftogaz hoped to sign a contract soon with Halliburton that would help increase production to a target of 13.5 billion cubic metres this year, a jump of about one billion from 2022 levels.

"It’s a lot. And in order to achieve it we might need serious service expansion and technological drivers that Halliburton is capable to provide. We want them to expand [their presence] dramatically," Naftogaz CEO added.

Halliburton has a history of risk-taking, being among the first international companies to enter Iraq after the US invasion in 2003, the FT reports.

The talks with Exxon and Chevron — oil producers which do not have operations in Ukraine — are at an early stage and would take longer to yield results.

"We will welcome them. We can do joint production on gas together, PSA agreement — production sharing agreement — they can have a licence and produce by themselves, we will welcome it," Mr Chernyshov said.

Last week, it was reported that Ukraine had arrested the corporate rights of one of the largest private gas producers.