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Energy giant DTEK starts oil production in Poltava Oblast

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk October 11, 2023 10:31 PM 2 min read
Maksym Timchenko, CEO of Ukraine's largest private energy company DTEK, attends the Redefining Ukraine's Energy Future panel during the Ukraine Gas Investment Congress in Kyiv on Oct. 20, 2021. (Yevhen Kotenko/Ukrinform/Future Publishing via Getty Images)
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DTEK, Ukraine's largest private energy company, will finish drilling its first oil well in Poltava Oblast by the end of its month, the company's CEO Maksym Timchenko announced at a press conference on Oct. 11.

This is the first time the company will produce oil, Timchenko said, adding that "all the infrastructure for this is being created so that we become a player in the oil market."

The company also plans to start refining oil, but wants to use the latest technology and is therefore unlikely to purchase existing oil refineries in Ukraine, according to Timchenko.

DTEK's expansion into oil drilling and refining is part of a wider trend in Ukraine's energy sector of striving for energy security and independence.

Oil refineries, along with other energy production facilities, are often targeted by Russian strikes.

Russian forces are expected to increase their targets of critical energy infrastructure as the country moves into winter.

On Oct. 2, Russia attacked DTEK warehouses in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, causing damage to cables, transformers, and other electrical equipment, the company said on Telegram.

The company did not specify the extent of the damage, nor the time and resources it would require to repair it.

"No matter how hard the enemy tries," DTEK wrote, "they will not be able to disrupt our preparations for the winter season."

Earlier on Oct. 2, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock emphasized the need for Ukraine's allies to increase the strength of a "winter protection umbrella" in order to alleviate the disruptions associated with the Russian military's attacks on Ukrainian critical infrastructure.

With winter approaching, is Ukraine’s energy system ready for renewed Russian attacks?
The specter of Russian attacks on Ukraine’s energy system looms once again as winter rapidly approaches. Last year in early October, just as Ukraine’s heating season began, Russia launched a month-long series of missile and drone attacks against Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, leading to blackouts…
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