#19 - JRL 2009-167 - JRL Home
Russia may face oil and gas output slump amid exploration cuts

IRKUTSK, September 8 (RIA Novosti) - Russia could soon face a slump in oil and gas production following a five-fold reduction in geological prospecting, a senior senator said on Tuesday.

"The amount of geological prospecting is now just 10-20% of the 1990 figure. Over the past 19 years, the volume of geological prospecting has only allowed companies to ensure just one additional year of oil production," said Viktor Orlov, chairman of the Federation Council committee for natural resources and the environment.

In comparison, geological prospecting in the United States provides up to 10 years of additional work, he said.

According to Orlov, Russia's subsoils contain up to 200 billion tons of conventional fuel, of which half has already been prospected.

"If geological prospecting is maintained in the future at least at the 2008 level, 1,193 oil and gas deposits, including 18 large fields, could be discovered in Russia by 2031," Orlov said.

In this scenario, Russia would have access to additional reserves comprising 3.1 billion metric tons (22.7 billion barrels) of oil and 9.5 billion tons of gas, he said.


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