After the last three oil deposits are auctioned off in 2012 Russia will have no more large oil reserves, the Federal Agency for Subsoil Use said on Thursday.
“If we complete the auctions on Imilor (located in the Khanty-Mansiisk autonomous district), Severo- Rogozhnikovskoye (Shpilman) and Lodochnoye (in East Siberia's Krasnoyarsk Territory) in 2012 we will thus draw the line under the era of the mineral reserve base on oil that was established in Soviet days,” agency head Igor Plesovskikh said.
Given the current level of geological prospecting activity there is little hope that new large or even medium sized deposits will be discovered, he said.
The Lodochnoye auction will be held on December 11-12 and the Shpilman auction in the second half of December with advance payments of 4.3 billion rubles and 14 billion rubles, respectively.
A date for the Imilor auction has yet to be set, with an estimated advance payment of 23.5-24.5 billion rubles.
The Imilor field holds about 193 million tons (1.42 billion barrels) of crude; The Severo-Rogozhnikovskoye field holds 32.9 million tons of C1 category oil, 57.4 million tonnes of C2 category oil, and 7.2 million tons of C3 category oil.
Russia was the largest producer of crude oil in 2011. During the year, crude oil production averaged about 9.8 million bbl/d, up from 6 million bbl/d in 1998.