Interfax: Ukraine Chooses ExxonMobil-led Group to Develop Black Sea Field

MOSCOW - Ukraine has selected a consortium of Exxon Mobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Romania's OMV Petrom SA and Ukrainian state firm Nadra Ukrainy to develop an oil-and-gas field on its Black Sea shelf, Interfax cited the country's environment and natural resources minister as saying Wednesday.

The group beat out a bid by Russia's OAO Lukoil Holdings.

The consortium has pledged to invest $400 million in the initial exploration phase of the Skifska field and make a one-off payment of $325 million to Ukraine's budget, Interfax quoted the minister, Eduard Savitskiy, as saying.

Ukraine is seeking to develop oil and gas deposits to decrease its dependence on Russia for energy supplies. The field is expected to produce 3 billion to 4 billion cubic meters of natural gas a year.

Exxon, in a statement, said it "is pleased by today's announcement" by the Ukrainian government. "We look forward to receiving the formal resolution of the Ukraine Cabinet of Ministers" on the award of the block.

Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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