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Talks on Exxon Deal Completed

KIEV — Ukraine's government has concluded negotiations with U.S. energy major Chevron on a second shale gas project and is lining up another energy deal with an ExxonMobil-led consortium, its energy minister said on Thursday.

Chevron has been in talks with Kiev for several months over exploration in the 5,260sq km Olesska field in western Ukraine, with the government keen for shale gas to ease Ukraine's dependence on costly natural gas supplies from Russia.

Energy Minister Eduard Stavytsky told journalists on Thursday that a draft agreement with Chevron had been sent to local authorities for approval, which is required under Ukrainian law. "They will consider it some time between June 18 and 21," he said.

The former Soviet republic signed a $10 billion production-sharing agreement with Royal Dutch Shell this year for shale gas exploration in the Yuzivska field in the east, but the Chevron plan has come up against more opposition.

(Reuters)

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