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    MOSCOW, April 1, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - According to a press release, RITEK, a Russian oil company, found a new partner for developing a deposit in the Yamalo-Nenets autonomous area (northern West Siberia).

    Schlumberger Oilfield Services has become RITEK's partner. Schlumberger will drill horizontal wells at an oil deposit in a hydrocarbon rich region of Siberia.

    "Today, horizontal drilling is one of the priorities for our company," Valery Graifer, the general director of RITEK, said. "We believe that the successful implementation of this project will considerably enhance oil production and will improve both technical and economic performance."

    According to the preliminary agreement, the work will be done under a turn-key principle. For the first time in Russia, a service company will act as the primary contractor in a horizontal well development project.

    A new business model for running the project has been developed. The contract is expected to be signed in the first half of April 2004, and the first horizontal well is expected to be sunk in May 2004. Ten horizontal wells are planned to be drilled at the field.

    "We are pleased to participate in this project as the general contractor for OAO RITEK, Maurice Dijols, the president of Schlumberger Russia, said. "We believe it will give us an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the value of our technology and project management skills."

    RITEK specializes in a large-scale use of innovation technologies and equipment. It was registered in 1992. In 1994, it received the first license for oil and gas extraction in Siberia. RITEK's main shareholders are LUKoil (51%) and Tatneft (6%), and Sonoco (5%).

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