Exxon and Shell win Ukraine oil bid - FT

A Shell logo is seen on a pump at a petrol station in London April 28, 2010. REUTERS/Toby Melville

LONDON (Reuters) - Ukraine has approved a joint offshore exploration bid led by ExxonMobil XOM.N and Royal Dutch Shell RDSa.L to unlock oil and gas reserves deep under the Black Sea, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday.

The newspaper cited three people familiar with the situation as saying the grouping, which also includes Romania's OMV Petrom and Ukraine's state company Nadra, was chosen in a tender process over Russia's Lukoil LKOH.MM.

“Big finds are expected in the Skifska field, attractive in being massive in size as well as adjacent and geologically similar to where ExxonMobil and OMV Petrom are exploring off Romania’s coast,” an unnamed Ukrainian government official was quoted as saying.

The tender is due to be announced on Wednesday.

Reporting by Stephen Mangan; Editing by Ed Davies