KIEV, March 18 (Xinhua) -- Ukrainian Coal and Energy Minister Eduard Stavytsky said on Monday that Ukraine will ramp up its natural gas production by up to 5 percent in 2013.
"We have a production plan for 2013, and I expect that we will increase gas output by 3 to 5 percent this year," Stavytsky told a press conference here.
In 2012, Ukraine's gas output hit 20.185 billion cubic meters, up 0.4 percent from 2011, Stavytsky said.
Ukraine, which is believed to be one of Europe's largest holders of shale gas, set a target of doubling its gas output by 2020.
According to the International Energy Agency, Ukraine has an estimated gas reserve of up to 5 trillion cubic meters.