A consortium led by ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell have been awarded the contract to develop a Ukrainian offshore field.
Ukrainian Environment and Natural Resources Minister Eduard Stavitskyy announced the decision to give the two majors the contract to develop the Skifska field located near Ukraine's Serpents Island in the Black Sea.
The field is estimated to hold up to 250 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas.
Its development would be a major boost for Ukraine, which currently imports some 40 bcm of gas from Russia annually.
Romania's Petrom (partially owned by Austria's OMV) and Ukraine's Nadra Ukraina are partners in the consortium.
Ukraine's government estimates the project will cost up to $12 billion to realize.
The consortium also pays a one-off $325 million to the Ukrainian government.
Based on reporting by Interfax and dpa