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Eastern Europe


Vertical axis in chart corresponds to thousands of barrels of oil equivalent per day.

Oil -  fossil oil produced from on and offshore reservoirs, including tight sands/shales; and liquids extracted from gas.

Gas - sales gas produced from on and offshore reservoirs, including tight sands/shales and coal beds.O

Full breakdowns are available in datafiles.

Vertical axis in chart corresponds to number of wells spudded in year including stand-alone sidetracks.

Wells in chart include those drilled in exploratory and development categories for oil and gas, but excluding CBM.

Full breakdowns are available in datafiles.

Exploration and Production

Early history

As far back as 1853 oil produced in Boryslav was distilled and used in the world’s first kerosene lamp to illuminate the public hospital in Lvov. The invention of the kerosene lamp marked the beginning of concerted exploration for oil in the eastern Carpathians and, in 1861, one of the first oil rigs in the world was built there. By 1909 the region, all of which was under Polish jurisdiction, was producing around 40,000 bbls per day of oil (5% of the world’s production) and over 12,000 rigs were operating.

Gas production began in 1940 and by 1945, with Boryslavnow part of the Soviet Union, deliveries of gas had started from the Dashavske and Oparske gas fields to Poland and subsequently to Russia, Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia, Czechoslovakia and Austria.

The industry then grew rapidly rapidly after the discovery of oil and gas in the Dnieper-Donets basin and the beginning of production from this area in 1963. Total oil output from both regions reached a peak of around 275,000 bbls per day in 1971. Gas production, which has seen relatively more substantial growth, peaked in 1975 at around 64 bcm for the year.

Later exploration in Crimea and in very shallow water wells on the adjoining Black Sea shelf led to modest amounts of oil and gas production from small on and offshore accumulations. More substantial gas production from this region began in 1981 from the offshore Golitsina field.

Modern history

Production peaked in the 1970s with little hope of recovery at the time. The Soviet Union unravelled, investment levels dropped and both oil and gas production entered a steep decline. The Carpathians play was almost exhausted and the Dnieper-Donets rift had been intensely drilled. New finds needed increased investment in modern seismic which was largely not available in the Soviet bloc.

This oil production decline flattened off in the 1980s but gas production, which had much further to fall, continued to decline through to the early 1990s, in part driven by dwindling gas demand as Ukrainian industrial output plummeted.

New investment after independence in 1991 failed to increase production to any extent. New prospects were limited, especially those containing oil, whilst redevelopment, including use of EOR projects on old producing fields, had mixed success. Meanwhile in the Gulf of Odessa around 90 wells have been drilled since 1970 and 8 gas/condensate field discoveries were reported but there was very little additional production from Ukrainian waters or from onshore Crimea.

For recent events see News Briefs.


E and P

News Briefs


The presence of oil has been occasionally reported in Ukraine since the 14th century. In the 1820s production began in the Boryslav region within the Carpathians. This had become the largest oil producing region in Europe by the early 20th Century. Boryslav was part of Poland up to 1772, Austria to 1918 and Poland again from 1919. It was annexed by Germany and then the Soviet Union (Ukraine SSR) after 1940. In 1945 deliveries of gas started into Poland; the first gas exports in the world.

Oil and gas forecasts

The short and medium term future of oil and gas production in Ukraine is forecast by Globalshift to be one of stagnation. Notwithstanding the political turmoil in the east of the country, where the most prospective acreage lies and which had seen curtailed investment even before the oil price decline of 2015, few significant new prospects remain outside redevelopment of old fields.

In particular the Carpathian basin in Ukraine, which is relatively stable politically, is almost exhausted of oil and gas resources and requires expensive wells to drill deeper more complex layers below the thrust belt.

Thus Globalshift forecasts persistent decline of conventional oil production accompanied by flat to declining conventional gas production.

However, Ukraine has some potential for oil and gas from shales in the west of the country near the border with Poland. The shales probably do not contain sufficient exploitable volumes to turn around the industry, even when prices recover, but they may lead to some modest growth in drilling and production in the mid 2020s along with some new output of gas extracted from coal beds.