Economy of Ukraine
|This article is outdated. (May 2013)|
|Economy of Ukraine|
|Currency||1 Hryvnia (₴) = 100 kopiykas|
|CIS, GUAM, and WTO|
|GDP||$74.8 billion (nominal)|
|GDP rank||44th (PPP)|
|-8.2.% (2014) |
GDP per capita
GDP by sector
|agriculture 9.9%, industry 29.6%, services 60.5% (2013 est.)|
|272% (CPI, 2015)|
Population below poverty line
|24.1% (2010, CIA) |
|22.17 million (2013 est.)|
Labor force by occupation
|agriculture 5.6%, industry 26.0%, services 68.4% (2012)|
|Unemployment||7.4% (2012 est.)|
Average gross salary
|306 € / 405 $, monthly (August 2013)|
|coal, electric power, ferrous and nonferrous metals, machinery and transport equipment, chemicals, food processing|
|Exports||$71.14 billion (2013 est.)|
|ferrous metals and nonferrous metals, fuel and petroleum products, chemicals, machinery and transport equipment, food products|
Main export partners
| Russia 24.2%
China 4.3% (2013 est.)
|Imports||$87.21 billion (2013 est.)|
|energy (mainly natural gas), machinery and equipment, chemicals|
Main import partners
| Russia 29.6%
Belarus 5.3% (2013 est.)
Gross external debt
|$12.4 billion (31 December 2012 est.)|
|38.8% of GDP (2012 est.)|
|Revenues||$53.07 billion (2012 est.)|
|Expenses||$59.58 billion; note - this is the consolidated budget (2012 est.)|
|Economic aid||recipient: $409.6 million (2006); International Monetary Fund Extended Funds Facility $2.2 billion (1998)|
|US$24.5 billion (31 December 2012 est.)|
The economy of Ukraine is an emerging free market, with a gross domestic product that fell sharply for the first 10 years of its independence from the Soviet Union, then experienced rapid growth from 2000 until 2008. A deep recession during the 1990s included hyperinflation and a fall in economic output to less than half of that achieved before independence. GDP growth was first registered in 2000, and continued for eight years.  In 2008, Ukraine's economy was ranked 45th in the world according to 2008 GDP (nominal) with the total nominal GDP of 188 billion USD, and nominal per capita GDP of 3,900 USD.
However Ukraine was greatly affected by the economic crisis of 2008 and as a result a 15.1% decrease in Ukraine's GDP took place over 2008 and 2009. Inflation slowed in July 2009 and stayed at about 8% in 2011. Deflation was just avoided in 2012. 0.5% inflation is expected for 2013. The Ukrainian currency, which had been pegged at a rate of 5:1 to the U.S. dollar, was devalued to 8:1, and was stabilized at that ratio till beginning of 2014, in the period of next year it was devaluated to 28:1.
There was 3% unemployment at the end of 2008; over the first 9 months of 2009, unemployment averaged 9.4%. The final official unemployment rates over 2009 and 2010 where 8.8% and 8,4%. Although the CIA World Factbook notes a "large number of unregistered or underemployed workers".
As of 2013, 35.9% of Ukrainian exports went to CIS countries, namely Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. At same time share of EU countries was 26.6%. By 2015 the EU became Ukraine's largest trading partner, accounting for more than a third of its trade.
Ukrainian politicians have estimated that 40% of its economy is shadow economy. Thus, official data GDP and average salary have significant errors and cannot be applied directly to understand the economic situation.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Economic growth by years
- 3 Natural resources
- 4 Industries
- 5 Agriculture
- 6 Information technology
- 7 Infrastructure
- 8 Tourism
- 9 Financing, banking, investments
- 10 Legal environment
- 11 Environmental issues
- 12 Miscellaneous data
- 13 See also
- 14 Notes
- 15 References
- 16 External links
List of major private owned companies, not considering banks and insurance companies
|Rank||Company||Home city||Revenue (₴M), 2012||Profit (₴M), 2012|
|3.||Industrial Union of Donbas||Donetsk||28920||-2520|
|4.||ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih||Kryvyi Rih||28896.2||-2902.8|
Ukraine is subdivided into nine economic regions: Carpathian, Northwestern, Podillya, Capital, Central-Ukrainian, Northeastern, Black-Sea-Coastal, Trans-Dnieper, and Donetsk. Those regions were redrawn from the three Soviet economic regions of the Ukrainian SSR: Donetsk-TransDnieper, Southwestern, and Southern.
In 1910, Ukraine's GDP was estimated at 7 per cent of USA (about the same size as the Netherlands). By 2010, Ukraine's GDP had shrunk to 1 per cent of USA. The nation has many of the components of a major European economy - rich farmlands, a well-developed industrial base, highly trained labour, and a good education system. At present, however, the economy remains in poor condition.
Deep recession during the 1990s led to a relatively high poverty rate, but beginning in 2001, as a result seven of straight years of economic growth, the standard of living for most citizens has increased. World Bank report, 2007 notes: "Ukraine recorded one of the sharpest declines in poverty of any transition economy in recent years. The poverty rate, measured against an absolute poverty line, fell from a high of 32% in 2001 to 8% in 2005. UN notes that absolute poverty in Ukraine already was overcome, there is only relative poverty today. The macroeconomy is stable, and the hyperinflation of the 1990s has subsided. Ukraine's currency, the hryvnia, was introduced in September 1996. The economy has continued to grow thanks to exports since 2000, although at uneven speed and being highly affected (circa -15% GDP growth) by the Great Recession and the 2008–2009 Ukrainian financial crisis.
As of October 2013 the Ukrainian economy is stuck in recession. Moody's put Ukraine's credit rating to Caa1 (poor quality and very high credit risk) in September 2013. At the time swap markets rated Ukraine's default probability over the next five years at 50 percent.
Economic growth by years
Ukraine is relatively rich in natural resources, particularly in mineral deposits. Although oil and natural gas reserves in the country are largely exhausted, it has other important energy sources, such as coal, hydroelectricity and nuclear fuel raw materials.
In Ukraine covering about 20 major industries, namely power generating, fuel, ferrous and non-ferrous metallurgy, chemical and petrochemical and gas, machine-building and metal-working, forest, wood-working and wood pulp and paper, construction materials, light, food and others. Industry accounted for 26% of GDP in 2012. The country possesses a massive high-tech industrial base, including electronics, arms industry and space program.
Metal mining and production
Ukraine is rich in mineral deposits, including iron ore (of which it once produced 50 percent of the entire Soviet output), manganese ore (of which it produced 40 percent of world output during the Soviet era), mercury, titanium, and nickel.
Ukraine is one of the world's most important mineral producing countries, in terms of both the range and size of its reserves. There are nearly 8,000 separate deposits, harboring some 90 different minerals, of which about 20 are economically significant. About half of all the known deposits are under exploitation. Coal reserves in Ukraine amount to 47.1 billion tons. The annual domestic demand for coal as fuel is about 100 million tons, of which 85 percent can be satisfied by domestic production. Ukraine has oil and gas fields that meet 10 percent of her oil and 20 percent of her gas consumption, respectively. Ukraine contains natural gas reserves of 39.6 trillion cubic feet, but only about 20 percent of the country's demand is met by domestic production. Deposits of iron ore (estimated at 28 billion tons), manganese ore (3 billion tons), chalk and limestone (1.5 billion tons) are also large in Ukraine. The domestic industrial sector suffers from constant energy shortages and energy supply payment debts totaling about $792 million at the end of 1995.
Ukraine has a major ferrous metal industry, producing cast iron, steel and pipes. Among its economy leading companies in that field are Metinvest, Kryvorizhstal, AzovStal, Ilyich Steel & Iron Works, and others. As of 2012, Ukraine is the world's tenth largest steel producer (according to World Steel Association).
Strategic and defense complex
Ukraine's defense industry is organized around Ukroboronprom, a state owned conglomerate of over 130 companies. These companies include Soviet era giants such as Ivchenko-Progress aircraft design bureau that was opened in 1945, to newer companies such as RPC Fort which came into existence in the 1990s. Ukraine is also among the top 10 arms exporters in the world. The signing of recent large contracts may put Ukraine into 6th place among biggest arms traders, after the United States, Russian Federation, France, Germany and Israel. The output of Ukrainian defense plants grew 58% in 2009, with largest growth reported by aircraft builders (77%) and ship builders (71%).
In 2013 Ukraine's defense sector manufactured a total of 11.7 billion UAH worth of goods, 10 billion UAH of which were exported. In the first 9 months of 2014 Ukraine's defense sector produced a record 13 billion UAH worth of goods, the increase was largely due to government orders for the War in Donbass.
Fuel and energy complex
Ukraine imports 90% of its oil and most of its natural gas. Russia ranks as Ukraine's principal supplier of oil, and Russian firms now own and/or operate the majority of Ukraine's refining capacity. Natural gas imports come from Russia - which delivers its own gas, as well as the gas from Turkmenistan. Instead, Ukraine is transporting Russian gas to the EU through its well-developed gas pipelines system, being Europe's vitally important connection. The country's dependence on Russian gas supplies dramatically affects its economics and foreign policy, especially after the recent major gas dispute.
However, Ukraine is independent in its electricity supply, moreover, exporting it to Russia and other countries of Eastern Europe. This is achieved through a wide use of nuclear power and hydroelectricity. The recent energy strategy intends gradual decreasing of gas- and oil-based generation in favor of nuclear power, as well as energy saving measures, shortening of industrial gas consumption. Reform of the still inefficient and opaque energy sector is a major objective of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank programs with Ukraine.
Ukraine is a partner country of the EU INOGATE energy programme, which has four key topics: enhancing energy security, convergence of member state energy markets on the basis of EU internal energy market principles, supporting sustainable energy development, and attracting investment for energy projects of common and regional interest.
Ukraine automobile manufacturers produces diesel locomotives, tractors, trucks, buses, trolleybuses, own-designed cars and trams. There are 12 automobile manufacturers in Ukraine includes ZAZ, LuAZ, Bogdan, KrAZ, Eurocar, LAZ.
ZAZ (Zaporizhia Automobile Building Plant) is the main automobile-manufacturer of Ukraine, based in the south-eastern city of Zaporizhia. Beginning of passenger cars manufacturing in Ukraine started in 1959. Totally (from 1960 to 1994) there were 3,422,444 Zaporozhets vehicles manufactured in Zaporizhia and engines with air-cooling in Melitopol. In 2011-2012 Zaporizhia Automobile Building Plant started serial full-scale production of new cars - ZAZ Forza and ZAZ Vida. Bogdan Corporation is a leading Ukrainian automobile-manufacturing group, including several car- and bus-makers of the country. A bus "Bogdan" is the most widespread used small bus for city transportation in most Ukrainian cities. Lviv Bus Factory is one of the major bus manufacturers in Ukraine. It manufactures city buses, coach buses, trolley buses, and special purpose buses.
Aircraft and aerospace industry
||The neutrality of this article is disputed. (March 2015)|
Ukraine is in the top nine elite countries of the world to possess a full cycle of aerospace hardware engineering and production. Besides to design and production of passenger and transportation aircraft, Ukraine also boasts a network of aircraft repair enterprises, including companies involved in recovery of military planes and helicopters. In March 2007, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine created State aircraft building concern «Aviation of Ukraine» (SACAU), which is governed by the Ministry of industrial policy. Production of An-148 aircraft is now one of the most prospective projects for Ukrainian plane manufacturing industry with 35 units manufactured since 2009 (together with Russian production). The aircraft were engineered by Antonov Scientific and Production Complex Design Office (Antonov ANTK). The one-of largest airplane in the world Antonov An-225 Mriya also designed by Antonov ANTK. It is the biggest heavier-than-air aircraft in terms of length and wingspan in operational service. Gross production of light and ultra light planes in Ukraine does not exceed 200 units per annum. Production of hang-gliders and paragliders of all designs makes nearly 1,000 units each year. Most of produced devices are exported (the buyers of Ukrainian-made ultra light aircraft are the USA, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, France, etc.).
The entire space rocket industry in Ukraine has been managed by the National Space Agency of Ukraine since 1992. The agency includes 30 enterprises, scientific research institutes, and design offices. Yuzhnoye Design Bureau is in general responsible for creating «Zenit-3SL» carrier rocket. Zenit, as an environmentally safe rocket system, became a world-renowned accomplishment of Yuzhnoye Design Office. The system is one of the world best carriers with fully automated processes for take-off and super precise space injection. The National Space Agency of Ukraine, besides to Sea Launch project, is involved in cooperation with American Rockwell Int. Company in search of potential customers for launches of Cyclon carrier rockets produced by YuzhMash Production Union.
The USSR’s collapse put Ukraine’s shipbuilding into a long-term decline. It lasted until 1999 and was mostly due to a minimum volume of state shipbuilding orders. In general, between 1992 till 2003, the 11 shipyards of the country produced 237 navigation units for a total value of USD 1.5 billion. Production facilities are not working near full capacity, and customers are not always timely in paying for services. Growth of production volumes was witnessed at the enterprises of shipbuilding industry over 2000-2006. State support and the opening of free economic zones, foremost at enterprises based in Mykolaiv were of crucial recent developments in Ukraine's shipbuilding industry. Within the Mykolaiv Special Economic Zone, enterprises like Damen Shipyards Okean, Chernomorskiy (Black Sea) Shipbuilding Plant, 61 Communards Shipbuilding Plant, as well as the Raduga (Rainbow) paint and insulation enterprise are implementing investment projects targeted to raise efficiency and quality in primarily export-oriented vessel building through production upgrades. The new engineering developments and high potential of Ukrainian designers give ability to build high quality vessels with competitive prices. There are 49 shipbuilding companies registered in Ukraine. They are able to build a wide range of vessel types: powerboats, barges, bulk carriers (dry cargo ship), tankers, liquefied gas carriers, etc. Ukraine is one of the 10 largest shipbuilding countries in Europe.
Although typically known as the industrial base of the Soviet Union agriculture is a large part of Ukraine's economy. In 2008 the sector accounted for 8.29% of the country's GDP and by 2012 has grown to 10.43% of the GDP. Agriculture accounted for $13.98 billion value added to the economy of Ukraine in 2012, however despite being a top 10 world producer of several crops such as wheat and corn Ukraine still only ranks 24 out of 112 nations measured in terms of overall agricultural production. Ukraine is the world's largest producer of sunflower oil, a major global producer of grain and sugar, and future global player on meat and dairy markets. It is also one of the largest producers of nuts. Ukraine also produces more natural honey than any other European country and is one of the world's largest honey producers, an estimated 1.5% of its population is involved in honey production, therefore Ukraine has the highest honey per capita production rate in the world. Because Ukraine possesses 30% of the world's richest black soil, its agricultural industry has a huge potential. However, farmland remains the only major asset in Ukraine that is not privatized. The agricultural industry in Ukraine is already highly profitable, with 40-60% profits, but according to analysts its outputs could still rise up to fourfold.
Ukraine is the world's 6th largest, 5th if not including the EU as a separate state, producer of corn in the world and the 3rd largest corn exporter in the world. In 2012 Ukraine signed a contract with China, the world's largest importer of corn, to supply China with 3 million tonnes of corn annually at market price, the deal also included a $3 billion line of credit extension from China to Ukraine.
In 2014 Ukraine total grain crop was estimated to be record 64 million metric tons, however as several regions are claiming their independence due to the War in Donbass and the Crimea Crisis the actual available crop yield was closer to 60.5 million metric tons. By October Ukrainian grain exports reached 11 million metric tons. Due to the decline of the metallurgy industry, Ukraine's top export in prior years, as a result of the War in Donbass agricultural products accounted for the nation's largest exported set of goods.
Forestry, fishing and others
Ukraine has a long-standing reputation as a major technology region, with a well-developed scientific and educational base. In March 2013 Ukraine ranks fourth in the world in number of certified IT professionals after the United States, India and Russia. On top of that, the experts recognize both quantitative and qualitative potential of the Ukrainian specialists. In 2011 the number of IT specialists working in the industry reached 25,000 people with 20% growth. The volume of the Ukrainian IT market in 2013 was estimated to be up to 3.6 billion US dollars.
About 100,000 Ukrainians regularly sail across the world on foreign ships, one of the largest group of Ukrainian labor migrants and the sixth largest number of sailors from any country. They are attracted by the relatively high salaries of more than $1,000 per month.
Ukraine ranks eighth among the world’s nations in terms of the Internet speed with the average download speed of 1,190 kbit/s. Five national providers of fixed (DSL, ADSL, XDSL) internet access — Ukrtelecom, Vega Telecom, Datagroup, Ukrnet, Volia, and 5 national operators of mobile internet — MTS, Kyivstar, PEOPLEnet, Utel, and Intertelecom are currently operating in Ukraine. Every regional center and large district center has a number of local providers and home networks.
2011 revenues from Internet service providing in Ukraine reached ₴ 4.75 bn
The mobile-cellular telephone system's expansion has slowed, largely due to saturation of the market which has reached 125 mobile phones per 100 people.
The Russian Federation is Ukraine's largest trading partner, with 25.7% of exports and 32.4% of imports in 2012. The EU is Ukraine's second largest trading partner, with 24.9% of exports and 30.9% of imports in 2012. An overcrowded world steel market threatens prospects for Ukraine's principal exports of non-agricultural goods such as ferrous metals and other steel products. Although exports of machinery and machine tools are on the rise, it is not clear if the rate of increase is large enough to make up for probable declines in steel exports, which today account for 46% of the country's overall exports.
Ukraine's "business climate" has a very negative reputation.
Ukraine is the 8th most popular tourism destination in Europe with 23 million visitors in 2012. The country's tourism industry is generally considered to be underdeveloped, but it does provide crucial support for Ukraine's economy. In 2012, the contribution of tourism to the GDP amounted to 28.8 billion ₴, or 2.2% of GDP and directly supported 351,500 jobs (1.7% of total employment).
Ukraine's western neighbours (Poles, Slovaks, Hungarians and even Belarusians) are known to come to Ukraine to purchase products and presents, such as food or gasoline, that are cheaper in Ukraine than in their home countries.
Recreational tourism and sightseeing
Ukraine has impressive landscapes, ruins of ancient castles, historical parks, vineyards where they produce native wines, unique structures such as Saint Sophia Cathedral or Chersonesos. Officially, there are seven World Heritage Sites in Ukraine. The Carpathian Mountains suitable for skiing, hiking, fishing and hunting. Bukovel — is the largest ski resort in Ukraine situated in the Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast (province) of western Ukraine. The 2010-2011 winter season recorded 1,200,000 day visits with foreigners amounting to 8-10% of all visitors. In 2012 the Bukovel was named the fastest growing ski resort worldwide. The coastline on the Black Sea is a popular summer destination for vacationers, especially Odessa.
Financing, banking, investments
|This section is outdated. (December 2013)|
A political crisis in the middle of 2006 was feared as a threat to economic and investment stability, however, despite the forecasts, the political situation has not scared investors. The GDP showed a good growth rate of 7% in 2007, compared to the previous year. Industrial output has increased. Car sales soared, while the banking sector has expanded, thanks to the arrival of European banks.
International financial institutions
In 2008 the country joined World Trade Organization. Ukraine applied for WTO membership in 1993, but its accession process was stalled for 15 years.
Foreign direct investment
Ukraine encourages foreign trade and investment. The Parliament of Ukraine has approved a foreign investment law allowing foreigners to purchase businesses and property, to repatriate revenue and profits, and to receive compensation if the property is nationalized by a future government. However, complex laws and regulations, poor corporate governance, weak enforcement of contract law by courts, and corruption all continue to stymie direct large-scale foreign investment in Ukraine. While there is a functioning stock market, the lack of protection of shareholders' rights severely restricts portfolio investment activities.
As of April 2011 total foreign direct investment stock in Ukraine stood at $44.7 billion. Statistics from FDi Magazine show Ukraine suffered a year on year decline in foreign direct investment between 2010 and 2013.
State enterprise InvestUkraine was created under the State Agency for Investment and National Projects (National Projects) to serve as a One Stop Shop for investors and to deliver investment consulting services.
Many companies, owned by foreigners, have been successfully operating in Ukraine since its independence. These include companies in agriculture, such as Kyiv-Atlantic Group, founded in 1994 by David Sweere. He sold its business in Minnesota and invested in Ukraine, believing in its huge potential. The company has been operating at a profit since 2002. As a result, he became the fifth richest among the Westerners who made their fortune in Ukraine.
In December 2013, the government made an agreement with Russia to buy $15 billion of government bonds, and cut the price of natural gas, to support the Ukrainian economy. Prime Minister Mykola Azarov stated that Ukraine had needed external funding of up to $17 billion in 2014 to avoid defaulting on debts.
Monetary policy and banking
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Insurance business and companies
According to the Global Competitiveness Report 2012-2013 "the country’s most important challenge is the needed overhaul of its institutional framework, which cannot be relied on because it suffers from red tape, lack of transparency, and favoritism".
Since the late 1990s, the government has pledged to reduce the number of government agencies, streamline the regulatory process, create a legal environment to encourage entrepreneurs, and enact a comprehensive tax overhaul. Outside institutions — particularly the International Monetary Fund — have encouraged Ukraine to quicken the pace and scope of reforms and have threatened to withdraw financial support. But reforms in some politically sensitive areas of structural reform and land privatizations are still lagging.
A number of foreign guest workers come to work in Ukraine, mainly in seasonal farm work and construction industry, especially from neighboring Moldova and Belarus. Meanwhile, large numbers of Ukrainian guest-workers work in EU countries.
Ukraine is interested in cooperating on regional environmental issues. Conservation of natural resources is a stated high priority, although implementation suffers from a lack of financial resources. Ukraine established its first nature preserve, Askania-Nova, in 1921 and has programs to breed endangered species.
The country has significant environmental problems, especially those resulting from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster in 1986 and from industrial pollution. In accordance with its previously announced plans, Ukraine permanently closed the Chernobyl Atomic Energy Station in December 2000. In November 2001, Ukraine withdrew an application it had made to the EBRD for funding to complete two new reactor units to compensate for the energy once produced by Chernobyl. Ukrainian concern over reform conditions attached to the loan - particularly tariff increases needed to ensure loan repayment—led the Ukrainian government to withdraw the application on the day the EBRD Board was to have considered final approval. Work on the so-called "object shelter" to permanently entomb the reactor where the world's worst nuclear accident occurred has been slower than anticipated but continues. Design work as well as structural improvements to the "sarcophagus" erected by the Soviet Union are largely complete, and construction on the new shelter was scheduled to begin in 2004.
Ukraine also has established a Ministry of Environment and has introduced a pollution fee system that levies taxes on air and water emissions and solid waste disposal. The resulting revenues are channelled to environmental protection activities, but enforcement of this pollution fee system is lax.
- production: 192.1 billion kWh (2006)
- consumption: 181.9 billion kWh (2006)
- export: 10.07 billion kWh (2005)
- import: 20 billion kWh (2006)
Electricity - production by source:
- fossil fuel: 48.6%
- hydro: 7.9%
- nuclear: 43.5%
- other: 0% (2001)
- production: 90,400 barrels per day (14,370 m3/d) (2006)
- consumption: 284,600 barrels per day (45,250 m3/d) (2006)
- exports: 214,600 barrels per day (34,120 m3/d) (2004)
- imports: 469,600 barrels per day (74,660 m3/d) (2004)
- proved reserves: 395,000,000 barrels (62,800,000 m3) (1 January 2006 est.)
- production: 20.85 billion cubic m (2006 est.)
- consumption: 73.94 billion cubic m (2006 est.)
- exports: 4 billion cubic m (2006 est.)
- imports: 57.09 billion cubic m (2006 est.)
- proved reserves: 1.075 trillion cubic m (1 January 2006 est.)
Agriculture - exports: grain, sugar beets, sunflower seeds, vegetables, beef, milk
Agriculture - imports: seafood, pork, beef, grain
Exchange rates: hryvnia per US$1 – 30 (2015), 7.97 (2009), 5.05 (2007), 5.05 (2006), 5.13 (2005), 5.33 (May 2004), 5.30 (October 2002), 5.59 (February 2000), 5.3811 (January 2000), 4.1304 (1999), 2.4495 (1998), 1.8617 (1997), 1.8295 (1996), 1.4731 (1995)
Average salary by region
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(Economy section) GDP Growth → 2013: 0.4 %, 2012: 0.2 %, 2011: 5.2 %
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UPDATE 1-Ukraine signs landmark $10 bln shale gas deal with Shell, Reuters (24 January 2013)
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