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Exxon’s $735 Million Ukraine Pledge Shows Black Sea Zeal: Energy

Exxon Mobil Corp. is so confident of prospects in the unexplored Black Sea it will spend $735 million to drill just two deep-water wells off Ukraine’s coast.

The outlay comprises a $335 million signing bonus for Ukraine’s government and a promise to spend a further $400 million on seismic surveys and drilling two wells, according to an Energy Ministry official. After making a natural gas discovery in neighboring Romania that may flow fast enough to supply half of that country’s consumption, Exxon plans exploration in Bulgaria, Russia and Ukraine.