Ukraine has signed its second major shale gas deal this year as it continues its bid to reduce its reliance on Russia for energy supplies.

The Ukrainian government has signed a deal with Chevron that will allow the oil major to explore and produce hydrocarbons in two regions of west Ukraine.

It follows a similar deal between Ukraine and Shell in early 2013.

The deal with Chevron is worth up to $10 billion and is in the form of a production sharing agreement. The government estimates that the two regions awarded to Chevron could produce 11-16 billion m3 of gas by 2019, and that together with the deal with Shell, the country could be self-sufficient in gas by 2020. .

Chevron will invest an initial $350 million in exploratory work.