Panel reviews Exxon's request to expand its Sakhalin I production area


MOSCOW, September 29 (RIA Novosti) - A decision on whether to enlarge the U.S.-Russian joint venture Exxon Neftegaz's licensed hydrocarbon production area in Sakhalin, off Russia's Pacific Coast, will be made in two to three weeks, after an expert panel submits its conclusion, Russia's natural resources minister said Thursday.

Yuri Trutnev told reporters that the oil and natural gas field currently being developed by the subsidiary of U.S. petroleum giant Exxon Mobil as part of the Sakhalin I project would be expanded into the Chaivo field if the company managed to prove a geological link between the two deposits.

The Sakhalin I project, involving an international consortium of Exxon Neftegaz (30%), Russia's Rosneft (20%), India's ONGC (20%), and Japan's SODECO (30%), provides for the development of the Arkutun-Dagi, Odoptu, and Chaivo deposits in the island's northeastern shelf. Their recoverable reserves are estimated to total 2.3 billion barrels of oil and 17.1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

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