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OIL PRODUCTION IS A COSTLY AFFAIR

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MOSCOW, March 29 (RIA Novosti) - Full-fledged production of oil from prospected and non-surveyed fields will cost $3.7 billion annually before 2020.

Yuri Podolsky, head of the department for information technologies and resources at the all-Russia Oil Survey Research Institute, announced this at the conference entitled "Russia's Minerals as a Way to Double the GDP" on Tuesday.

"The oil-production prospects is luring but costly," he said.

In compliance with the program of geological exploration, approved until 2020, a total of 255 billion rubles will be allocated from the budget for these purposes.

"Consumers of resources are to contribute over $2 trillion, i.e. $5 billion annually, though not for all the minerals. In our estimates, about $3.7 billion will be annually required to meet the most probable goal of oil production, which is less than in the national energy strategy," he said.

As regards the prospect of oil production on certain territories, they are mostly optimistic, Podolsky said.

"Today West Siberia has 31 oil fields but a twofold increase of oil reserves is required. East Siberia needs the same. In the Volga-Ural region, the growth of oil production will decline. Looking 15-20 years ahead, the Timano-Pechersky has biggest oil reserves (1.3 billion tons)", Podolsky noted.

According to him, Russia's offshore fields are to produce 363 million tons of oil by 2030. In addition, the increase of oil reserves until 2010 is to be over 2 billion tons.

Commenting on gas production propsects, Podolsky said that over 600 billion cubic meters are to be produced until 2010.

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