MOSCOW, April 12 (UPI) -- Russian energy company Gazprom Neft said surveys indicate the volume of commercial reserves at fields in East Siberia is greater than initially thought.
Gazprom Neft, the fourth largest oil producer in Russia, said data from geological surveys conducted last year raised the reserve estimate at the three fields comprising the so-called Chonsky Project by a combined 64 percent.
"This increase in reserves at the Chonsky-group fields has been made possible thanks to exploratory drilling, the re-testing of previously drilled wells, and the interpretation of geological and geophysical data, including data obtained through 3D seismic operations and geo-electric prospecting, " the company explained.
Combined, the company, a subsidiary of gas giant Gazprom said the fields hold an estimated 50.5 million barrels of oil and 787 billion cubic feet of natural gas. The reserve areas are located about 60 miles from the East Siberia-Pacific Ocean pipeline.
Russian oil pipeline company Transneft said last year it plans to increase the yearly capacity through ESPO by 80 percent by 2018.
Russia's energy sector previously had pivoted toward the Asia-Pacific, when economic momentum translated to an expected increase in demand for oil and natural gas. Asia offers a buffer against a European Union frustrated with the former Soviet Union's influence in the regional energy sector.