Russia plans to exploit its biggest gas reserves on the Yamal Peninsula in northwestern Siberia, but estimates say it will cost up to 8 trillion rubles ($260 billion), a business daily said on Tuesday.
A draft program to explore the peninsula's gas reserves says some 6.8-8 trillion rubles will be invested in the region over the next 25 years, Vedomosti reported.
The reserves were discovered in the early 1960s and were initially set to be put into operation in 1991, but the project was postponed during the economic downturn of the 1990s.
Russia's largest independent gas producer, Novatek, plans to build a plant worth an estimated 858.2 billion rubles ($27.8 billion) to produce liquefied gas in the region, while state-run energy giant Gazprom looks to start on the Bovanenkovskoye gas field by late 2012.
However, gas exploration on the Yamal Peninsula is an ambitious task since much of ground there is permafrost.
Novatek CEO Leonid Mikhelson has called on the government to help boost the peninsula's infrastructure.
MOSCOW, September 7 (RIA Novosti)