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Improvements proposed to Ukraine’s energy sector permitting system

At a workshop in Kyiv participants propose new measures to boost investment opportunities in the oil and gas sector in Ukraine.

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Left to right: Graham Tiley, Oleksandr Nastasenko, Simon Smith

The second of a series of workshops on unconventional gas regulation in Ukraine took place on 4 December 2014 at the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine.

The event was organised by the British Embassy in Ukraine in cooperation with the Embassy of Canada in Ukraine and the DiXi Group think tank, supported by Shell in Ukraine.

Discussion focused on specific features of the permitting system for energy extraction in Ukraine and its reform.

Graham Tiley, Vice-President on exploration and production of Shell in Ukraine said:

This workshop involving industry and Government experts sitting alongside NGOs, was timely and helpful in revealing regulatory shortcomings and offering workable solutions.

We plan to share outcomes from the workshop with the responsible authorities and will continue to put pressure on them to improve the permitting system.

Current permitting system

Participants acknowledged that Ukraine’s current regulatory system was overly complicated and non-transparent. The current system:

  • slows down business development in the field of gas exploration and production
  • has a complex and lengthy procedure for obtaining permits
  • often results in different interpretation of certain regulatory provisions due to mismatches between the legislative acts
  • encourages corruption

Other countries’ experience shows that streamlining and increased transparency of the permitting procedures encourages extraction companies to increase investment, while at the same time removing opportunities for corrupt practices.

Workshop participants proposed specific mechanisms and measures which have already proven their effectiveness. These could be adapted for the Ukrainian market.

Comments by workshop participants

Simon Smith, the British Ambassador to Ukraine, said:

Ukraine’s new government takes up the reins at a very challenging time. The coalition agreement contains a number of provisions which, if implemented, would have a positive impact on the investment climate in Ukraine.

We particularly welcome new measures to tackle corruption and the proposals for judicial and energy reforms. The UK stands ready to work closely with Ukrainian partners to help ensure their effective implementation.

Anne Mattson Gauss, Counsellor at the Embassy of Canada in Ukraine, said of the workshop:

It provides an invaluable opportunity for key stakeholders from government and industry to get together to share their experience and best practices in order to promote effective regulation of unconventional gas production in Ukraine, which has been identified as one of the bottlenecks for the sustainable development of the sector.


  • The event was organised by the British Embassy in Ukraine in cooperation with the Embassy of Canada and the DiXi Group think tank, supported by Shell in Ukraine, as part of the ‘United Kingdom in Ukraine’ campaign.
  • Find some images from the workshop.
Published 9 December 2014