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    TAPPING OF ASIAN FIELDS TO PUT RUSSIA ON BURGEONING ASIA-PACIFIC MARKET

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    MOSCOW, February 18, 2004. (RIA Novosti) -- The development of oil and gas fields in the East Siberian and Far Eastern regions will let Russia make up for the falling off production in the traditional oil- and gas-producing areas and emerge on the new burgeoning market of countries of the Asian-Pacific region.

    This was said in the report An Outlook for Tapping Hydrocarbon Primary Materials Fields in East Siberia and the Far East and Their Transportation to the World Markets, tabled on Wednesday, February 18, at a conference in Yakutsk, says the Natural Resources Ministry in the press release.

    "The topical problem now is the choice of directions of development and versions of transportation of East Siberian oil and gas, assessment of the degree of preparedness of the raw materials base, investments required for geological survey and field development, economic efficiency of different scenarios of this process," reads the communique.

    "Capacity and the growing demand for oil and gas in countries of the Asia-Pacific region necessitate the about-face to the East of the Russian oil and gas sector," reads the ministerial report.

    Among the main directions of developing the oil transportation systems is East Siberia, where new centres of oil production are planned to take shape. On the Far Eastern direction, it is proposed to create transport mainlines for shipments of hydrocarbon primary materials from the Sakhalin shelf to Asian-Pacific and South Asian markets.

    "Thus, the share of the Asian-Pacific countries in the export of Russian oil is planned to increase from three percent now to 30 percent in 2020, natural gas to 15 percent," the press release reads.

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