Ukraine will start the exploration of oil and gas deposits in the north-western shelf of the Black Sea - within the boundaries of the Kiliysky-Zmeiniy ledge and Krylovskiy deflection, according to the State Service of Geology and Subsoil of Ukraine.
Gosgeonedra reports that November 17, the only Ukrainian research vessel "Iskatel" (Seeker) will leave Odessa to conduct oil and gas exploration.

In the course of the voyage an integrated geophysical and geochemical investigations is scheduled in order to identify the location and prepare for the search and exploratory drilling in the promising field of oil and gas deposits. It is about an area of 6770 square km, which is adjacent to the southern part of the Odessa region. 7,000 km of seismic work to be carried out within the object of specialized mining.

According to the Gosgeonedra, the southern region of the country is one of the most promising but the least explored, the Black Sea shelf is mastered by 4%.

The service informed that "Iskatel" resumes marine geological and geophysical studies after three years hiatus, since funding of the offshore operations was renewed only in 2015.

"Iskatel" (Seeker) is a unique vessel to carry out seismic works of both normal midrange modification and of high-resolution (high-frequency). Low engine noise level ensures high quality of seismic data and geological descriptiveness.

The majority of the explored deposits of hydrocarbons in Ukrainian shelf are located in three major areas: the North-West of the Black Sea shelf, Prykerchenskiy shelf portion and southwestern part of the Azov Sea.

After the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia, Ukraine has lost the opportunity to explore and produce oil and gas on the Black Sea shelf and in the region. Ukrainian state oil and gas company "Naftogaz" has lost 15 fields in Crimea and on the shelf, as well as three promising areas of oil and gas deposits. At the same time over the past two years, Russia has illegally mined hydrocarbons in the Black Sea shelf, in particular, 2 billion cubic meters of gas annually.

Ukraine stated it would sue Russia in international arbitration court for theft of oil and gas from the shelf in the occupied Crimea.

In 2014, oil production in Ukraine was just over 1.9 million tons. In 2015, the figure on the mainland Ukraine decreased by 10% - up to 1 million 805.6 thousand tons.

Gas production in Ukraine in 2014 amounted to 20.5 million cubic meters, in 2015 - 19.9 million cubic meters (less than 3%).