Oil and gas industry executives are a hard-bitten lot.  Used to operating in some of the toughest environments in the world, they are a key group Ukraine needs to convince that the investment climate is improving in order to bring much-needed investment into the country.  Such investment could help develop Ukraine’s vast energy resources and boost energy independence: on one estimate, Ukraine has the third-largest natural gas resources in Europe.  So I’m delighted to welcome to the Embassy a host of oil and gas professionals to mark a major new push into the Ukrainian market by an important British-based energy company.

At the event I make the case in familiar terms for the action needed to create a business environment in Ukraine which will encourage investors from around the world to move into this potentially immense market. There is excitement amongst some energy professionals about a forthcoming round of auctions for licenses which is designed to bring clarity and openness to this vital element of energy infrastructure.  But others express scepticism, arguing that they have heard it all before; and that the huge sums of money involved in oil and gas exploration and production mean that the sector is exceptionally prone to murky regulatory practices.

All this makes it encouraging when a senior Ukrainian minister attends the event and speaks with confidence and enthusiasm about the forthcoming licence round, which he says will be open and transparent; and about measures to cut regulation including the number of inspections to which the industry is subject.  It's good to hear the government saying the right things about cutting regulation and increasing transparency in Ukraine.  An open and transparent licensing round will send an important signal about the quality of Ukraine as an investment destination.  I look forward to seeing it happen.

Leigh Turner
British Ambassador to Ukraine

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Ukrayinska Dumka


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