What is spoken about a lot and for a long time. Unfortunately, there is almost no progress despite establishment of the priority of both items in the Government's Concept for Development of Ukraine's Gas Production Industry and the draft Energy Strategy of Ukraine.
The decree, which regulates the issue of the special permits, has been amended 12 times in the last 6 years. Nevertheless, the procedure has not become more efficient. In fact, the subsoil user has to do everything on his own, from search of the plot to initiation of the bidding for it. The local council, instead of approving the new objects for state-level important subsoil use, which creates workplaces and contributes to the natural gas self-sufficiency of Ukraine, denies to approve the applicants. This sabotages and blocks the development of the whole industry.
Around the world, the geological information is open and transparently offered to the investors to verify the subsoil potential and take on the risks of the subsoil development by investing in it. In Ukraine the geological information is hard to access and is offered selectively in the form of paper reports (this is far away from clound-based technologies). Purely populistic is the argument that the information is the assets of our fathers and requires compensation of the historic costs incurred. The assets can be definitely be written-off completely if they do not bring value in terms of more hydrocarbons produced, which will in turn bring more tax revenues to the state and local budgets.
In addition, the geological and economic reports in he USSR were mailed to three adresses – the personal address of the entity reporting, Kyiv, and Moscow. Thus, all the Ukrainian geological information is in possession of the main opponent of Ukraine's energy security. Meanwhile, the officials are still repeating the mantra that the reports from the 1950-80s are priceless. So, where are the foreign investors?
More details in Roman Opimakh's column for Ukrayinska Pravda: