"The secret of success is to know something nobody else knows"

Aristotle Onassis

Meeting: October 25, 2016: Harnessing Ukraine's gas production capabilities — a new consideration for European energy security

This interactive discussion of the Brussels Energy Club addressed the topic of: 


"Harnessing Ukraine"s gas production capabilities — a new consideration for European energy security"


And took place on Tuesday, October 25, 2016, 1pm — 4pm @ TUSIAD Avenue des Gaulois, 13, Brussels 1040


With guest "out of town" speaker:

Philip Vorobyov

Philip Vorobyov  

Head of Strategy and Communications, JKX Oil & Gas, London







When it comes to Ukraine's energy security, only the most seasoned industry experts tend to think of the country's indigenous gas production. Here in Brussels, the European "gas establishment" tends to get bogged down in debates about Ukraine's gas supply relationship with Russia, and whether the country's role as the key transit state for Russian gas to the EU will remain in place. Transit, in fact, has become a byword for Europe's energy (in)-security, turning the economics of the European gas supply into a bigger geopolitical charade of gas pipelines, transit avoidance and ultimately Ukraine's political destiny, as it vibrates turbulently between east and west.

That said, those specialists and industry insiders that tend to look at Ukraine's energy security in more strategic terms, now argue that Kiev's best bet to lift itself above the vulnerability of its transit role for Russian gas is to focus on domestic production. It is well known in the industry that Ukraine has substantial gas production potential — sufficient not only to satisfy its avaricious domestic appetite, but also to export surplus to the EU. The prospect of Ukraine becoming "energy independent" in terms of satisfying its own gas demand requirements is a potential game breaker for European energy security. This is not merely due to the fact that Ukraine would no longer need to import gas from Russia — thus becoming immune to Gazprom's twists and turns — but also since Russia may no longer be running its molecules to Europe through Ukraine by that time. An odd situation may result where Russian gas exports to Europe via Nord Stream could find themselves competing with Ukrainian gas exports. The result: enhanced gas price competition, good news for European gas consumers and a total re-drawing of the map of present-day European gas supply security. 


In order to discuss and debate as to whether Ukraine can, and should, try to realise its gas production potential, we invited Philip Vorobyev to address the Brussels Energy Club on October 25.  Participants "debated it out" with BREC members and guests as to whether the prospect of Ukrainian domestic gas production is merely fantasy, or whether, in our age of BREXITS and Donald Trumps, there is something really to this. While the Brussels "gas establishment" is likely to push for the status quo prevailing in the current Russia-Ukraine-EU gas triangle, we know from our readings of the EGF Gazprom Monitor that the geographical flow of Russian gas to Europe is already changing. This BREC meeting showed how the prospect of Ukrainian gas production will deepen these structural changes in the European gas market even further.



Program October 25, 2016: 13.00 — 16.00:

  • Arrival of members and guests leading into light luncheon reception     
  • Welcoming remarks by Dr Bahadir Kaleagasi, Chairman, Brussels Energy Club,
  • Setting out the debate by Dr Marat Terterov, Executive Director, Brussels Energy Club,
  • Presentation by Philip Vorobyev, Head of Strategy and Communications, JKX Oil and Gas
  • Roundtable discussion with members and guests of the Brussels Energy Club (NB: the Chatham House Rule will apply).
  • Networking opportunities with the speaker and Club members will follow the interactive discussions


Speaker information

Philip Vorobyov is responsible for business strategy and corporate communications at JKX Oil & Gas. He has written and presented extensively on the energy markets and the role of independent producers in Ukraine and Russia. Prior to joining JKX, Philip worked for TNK-BP Gas & Power division where he performed a number of senior roles including head of strategy, business development and regulatory affairs. He was also Associate Director for Russian and Caspian Energy at Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA). Philip holds an MA from Harvard University and a BS from Georgetown University.

JKX Oil & Gas is a London-listed independent E&P company operating in Ukraine, Russia, Hungary and Slovakia. JKX was Ukraine's first foreign investor in the oil and gas sector with operations beginning in 1993. On February 16, 2015 JKX announced it was initiating arbitration proceedings against Ukraine on the basis of the Energy Charter Treaty and bilateral treaties between the UK, Netherlands and Ukraine. Please visit http://www.jkx.co.uk/ for more information.


Further information

Participation in the interactive discussion at TUSIAD venue will be free of charge for members and guests of the Brussels Energy Club. For more information please contact Ben McPherson on research@brusselsenergyclub.org or visit the contacts section of our website. 

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