(QHA) -

US-based ExxonMobil company, that won the tender for producing gas on the Black Sea shelf, refused to produce gas in Crimea over the annexation of the peninsula, US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt announced.

“The United States does not recognize the annexation of Crimea. Following the annexation, you will hardly find any foreign company, operating in the region. Crimean economy suffers great damages, in particular the tourism sphere. I think, the same will concern the sphere of foreign investments”- Pyatt noted.

Ukraine has Europe’s fourth-largest shale gas reserves at 42 trillion cubic feet, or 1.2 trillion cu m, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, after Poland, France and Norway.

Eduard Stavytskiy, then Ukrainian energy and coal industry minister, said in April 2013 that with the help of shale gas and Crimean offshore gas projects, Ukraine could start exports of gas to Europe in four to five years and to become a net energy exporter by 2020.

Crimea was annexed from Ukraine by Russia in March 2014.