So, is Ukraine capable to reach energy independence? The answer to this question now interests not only Ukrainians, but also the world community.To gain an understanding of this for the beginning it is necessary to address the geography and history of the country for this.

It is hard to believe, but what stays as a fact, is time when Ukraine did not import but exported natural gas. And the famous Siberian deposits have been mastered by Ukrainians.

As far back as in the beginning of 850 the Lvov pharmacist I.Lukashevich has designed a lamp for illumination where kerosene was used, a product of oil refining or as they spoke then – illuminating oil. And right since then oil also became a commercial mineral. The petroleum industry of Austria-Hungary, as well as Galichina with its oil fields took the leading position in the world, being among the three leaders.
The first written mention of oil in Prikarpatye is found in the chronicle of Yan Dlugosh (1445-1480), the historian, the diplomat and archbishop of Lvov. Oil or as it then everywhere named «rocky oil&», showed up in the form of significant outputs along northern board of Carpathian Mountains in gorges of rocks, on coast of streams, brooks and ponds, floating and accumulating on
their surfaces.

In 1886 in Borislavich the mining school was opened, which in 1908 has been reorganized in the State Mining and Boring School. In 1898 at the Lvov Polytechnical School the speciality of «Drillings and oil recoveries» was introduced, which had initiated oil and gas education in Ukraine.

The first large natural gas field in Ukraine, Dashavskoye, was publicly opened in 1913. Galichina was then one of the world’s largest «hydrocarbon» regions. During Soviet times together with a Saratov one (Volga region) Dashavskoye became one of the two main sources of gas to Moscow.

In the end of 60es natural gas extraction in Ukraine exceeded 68 bns of cubic meters per year. These years have been record ones in the oil and gas recovery.

Now Ukraine owns stocks of gas which will be sufficient for a thousand years, the Ukrainian and German scientists, who have held an assessment of deposits of Black Sea, do claim. Besides, scientists managed to develop technology of gas extraction from gas-hydrates.

Analyzing all these data, one comes to a key issue: having such huge stocks what hinders the country to reach energy independence? As I wrote in my last article “5 reasons to invest in Ukraine now”, among barriers one may point out the justice system, the laws that limit activity, taxation and some other factors. In these areas reforms are already being conducted. But personnel problems stand out significantly too. As far back as in pre-war years Ukrainian educational institutions have trained more than 300 experts in oil area. But intellectual migration has sent many of them to have their capacities realized to more developed countries of Europe and USA. If speaking about statistics of citizens with a scientific degree in different areas, since time of attaining of independence (1991-2008) 626 doctors of science left Ukraine. The account of candidates of science who have gone abroad, is being conducted by the Ukrainian departments of statistics since 1996. In the course of 13 years (1996-2008) 1212 Ukrainian candidates of science have supplemented the migratory biography with the fact of changing of the country of residence. Now Ivano-Frankovsk National Technical Oil and Gas University has directed its activity towards solving problems of personnel maintenance of oil and gas branch, as well as toward realization of progressive technologies of extraction and transportation of oil and gas, which for many years exceed 50% in power balance of Ukraine.

If the government of Ukraine manages it to involve investors in working of mines, then as soon as in a few years the country will manage to increase the volumes of oil and obtain industrial gas. And investments and present reforms that contribute to power sector of Ukraine, will create favorable circumstances, so that the best cadres of the country with oil and gas education would have remained and worked in the country, versus outside of it.
•Andrey Avramenko, CEO of the international oil and gas company, Skyline Energy Development