(QHA) - Ukraine's government has approved a Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) with the U.S.-based company Chevron to explore and develop shale-gas deposits in the Lviv region, Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty informs. Ukrainian Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources Oleh Proskuryakov announced the government's approval of the deal and said the PSA would be signed with Chevron on November 5 on the sidelines of an international economic forum in Kyiv. Chevron says it will invest some $350 million in exploring sites in the Lviv and Ivano-Frankivsk oblasts and that its investment in the project will eventually total some $10 billion. As reported earlier, Ukraine is looking to develop three large shale-gas deposits with help from foreign companies. The three sites contain an estimated equivalent of 3 trillion cubic meters of gas, enough to meet Ukraine's energy needs for decades. Meantime, Ukraine's energy minister has acknowledged that state oil and gas company Naftohaz has fallen behind in payments for Russian gas, but said he expects the matter to be settled very soon.

QHA