Ukraine Gas
An underground gas storage facility is seen in the village of Mryn, 120 km (75 miles) north of Kiev May 21, 2013. Ukraine's government asked parliament in April to lift a ban on the privatization of gas pipelines that pump Russian gas to Europe, which could allow Kiev to sell or lease them to Moscow in return for cheaper gas supplies. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

The United States will actively cooperate with Ukrainian authorities to strengthen their nation's energy independence, the U.S. ambassador in Kiev said Wednesday.

“I’m very determined to cooperate with the Ukrainian government in strengthening Ukraine’s energy independence. There are several areas on the road to this goal,” Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt said in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine.

Pyatt said there are several ways to help Ukraine become more independent by working on energy efficiency projects, developing nuclear power and reimporting natural gas from Europe.

In 2006, Russia, with a flip of a switch, cut natural gas supplies to Ukraine because Kiev did not want to pay a hike in prices, leaving Europe in the cold.

The U.S. administration has promoted so-called Southern Corridor pipelines, a transit route for gas coming from the Caspian Sea basin to Europe, as a means to diversify Europe’s energy without having to rely on Russian gas that passes through Ukraine.

One of the ways the U.S. is working with Ukraine is by helping the country develop its shale gas by bringing in companies like Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) and Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM), which have the technologies to extract the shale gas.