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* 100 fracking operations planned in 2016-2017
* UGV sees 'breakthrough" in gas production

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Halliburton, Schlumberger and Weatherford are among nine companies that submitted bids to carry out hydraulic fracturing operations for Ukraine's largest natural gas producer UkrGazVydobuvannia (UGV), the company said Thursday.

UGV, a 100% owned subsidiary of state-owned Naftogaz Ukrayiny, plans to start using fracking techniques in 2016-2017 in order to boost domestic gas output as Ukraine seeks to eliminate gas imports by 2020.

"Service companies with well-known names, teams of experienced professionals and decades of accumulated experience in the most extreme conditions are willing to come to Ukraine," Oleksandr Romaniuk, the head of UGV, said in a statement. "They believe our company can make a breakthrough in the Ukrainian gas production."

UGV plans to buy 100 fracking jobs, but will increase the practice if the technique achieves good results.

Ukraine aims to increase gas output by 7.5 Bcm to 27.4 Bcm/year in 2020 that together with energy conservation measures would eliminate the need to import gas, energy and coal industry minister Ihor Nasalyk said last month.

UGV plans to invest Hryvnia 80 billion ($3.2 billion) in exploration and drilling during the next four years in order to increase output to 20 Bcm/year in 2020, up from 14.5 Bcm/year in 2015, the company said.

UGV produced 6.12 Bcm of gas in January-May, up 0.4% year-on-year.

--Alexander Bor, newsdesk@platts.com
--Edited by Alisdair Bowles, alisdair.bowles@spglobal.com