KIEV, Ukraine, Aug. 21 (UPI) — Russia’s state media RIA Novosti said it’s received word Royal Dutch Shell remains committed to shale gas reserves in Ukraine despite the violence.
“Shell’s interests in shale gas production in Ukraine remain the same, and we will continue to execute all kinds of operations that we can carry out safely,” a spokesman told the Russian news agency on condition of anonymity.
Shell Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden said in early August some of the company’s operations in Europe may be influenced by ongoing crises in Ukraine. As a result, he declared force majeure, releasing the company from contractual obligations because of circumstances beyond its control.
Shell in early 2013 signed agreements to produce gas from the Kharkiv and Donetsk regions of Ukraine.
Ukrainian forces this week advanced on rebel-held territory in Donetsk. Heavy fighting was reported in the area this week as Ukrainian troops squared off with pro-Russian separatists.
Kiev estimates Shell was targeting an area said to contain about 4 trillion cubic feet of shale natural gas.