White House to ask oil and gas execs to support Ukraine energy infrastructure

Dec 5 (Reuters) - The Biden administration is convening a virtual meeting on Thursday with oil and gas executives to discuss how the United States can support Ukrainian energy infrastructure, according to a letter seen by Reuters.

The meeting comes as Russia seeks to cut off Ukraine’s energy supplies and destroy infrastructure as winter approaches with missile attacks.

"As you know Ukrainian energy assets are being aggressively targeted in an effort to take advantage of the winter's coldest temperatures and harshest weather conditions. Together, we can help to boost Ukrainian resilience," wrote David Turk, U.S. deputy secretary of energy, in a letter to oil and gas executives.

The meeting is being convened by the Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security and Emergency Response. It involves members of the Oil and Natural Gas Sector Coordinating Council, which includes 26 trade associations.

“This meeting is part of DOE’s continued, proactive engagement with industry to ensure that they are prepared to provide steady and reliable energy to their customers at home, while exploring areas of collaboration to support our allies abroad," the energy department said in response to a request for comment.

Ukraine said Russia destroyed homes in the southeast and knocked out power in many areas with a new volley of missiles on Monday, while Moscow said Ukrainian drones had attacked two air bases deep inside Russia hundreds of miles from front lines.

A new missile barrage had been anticipated in Ukraine for days and it took place just as emergency blackouts were due to end, with previous damage repaired. The strikes plunged parts of Ukraine back into freezing darkness with temperatures now firmly below zero Celsius (32 Fahrenheit).

Reporting By Jarrett Renshaw; Timothy Gardner contributed reporting; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

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