Dutch energy company Vitol announced it signed an agreement to become a partner in oil and natural gas development in Ukraine. The Dutch multinational energy company said it signed a deal that makes subsidiary Arawak Energy Ukraine and state-owned Geo Alliance Oil and Gas Public Ltd. a partner in Ukraine. Both sides would develop oil and natural gas fields owned by the Ukrainian company and its subsidiaries, explained Vitol in a statement. Geo Alliance holds permits in 16 license areas and 15 of them are in the Dnieper-Donets basin. The U.S. Geological Survey in 2007 estimated discovered reserve potential in the basin at around 1.6 billion barrels of oil and 59 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Parts of the reservoir are unexplored areas the USGS said holds considerable volumes of natural gas. The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates Ukraine has around 42 trillion cubic feet of shale gas reserves, putting it No. 3 among European countries. Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuri Boiko said increasing domestic production was of national interest.