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Freedom From Gazprom Tempts Ukraine as Exxon Hunts Shale: Energy

For the first time in more than two centuries, Ukraine sees its way to independence from Moscow.

That path tracks through a patch of sealed Soviet-era natural gas wells that are ready to be tapped once again and fields of shale rocks that the U.S. Geological Survey estimates will hold enough gas to fire the eastern European nation for 100 years or more. Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Exxon Mobil Corp., and Chevron Corp. -- three of the world’s four largest oil companies -- bid last week for Ukrainian exploration rights.