MOSCOW, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Russian oil producer Lukoil announced Tuesday production operations began at the Imilorsko-Istochniy license area in central Russia well ahead of schedule.
Lukoil said drilling operations started at a license area expected to hold at least 1.4 billion barrels of oil. So far, the company said it's built 14 miles of pipelines and 26 miles of road in anticipation of full production.
Production drilling was planned originally for September.
"The prompt launch puts the company considerably ahead of schedule in the implementation of the early oil project at the Imilorsko-Istochniy license area," the company said in a statement. "Lukoil expects to lift first oil ahead of schedule as well."
The company said future exploration activity includes 11 new wells in areas not proven to hold natural resources. More seismic surveys are planned for the future in order to get a better understanding of the reserve potential in the Imilorsko-Istochniy license area.