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Russia's Lukoil to invest more offshore this year

Russian minister said one of the country's top oil producers will increase spending almost four-fold.

By
Daniel J. Graeber
Some Russian oil companies expected to increase their spending on offshore developments dramatically this year, a minister said. File photo by A.J. Sisco/UPI.
Some Russian oil companies expected to increase their spending on offshore developments dramatically this year, a minister said. File photo by A.J. Sisco/UPI. | License Photo

March 27 (UPI) -- Russian oil company Lukoil aims to invest at least four times as much on offshore oil and gas exploration than it did last year, a resources minister said.

One of Russia's largest oil companies, Lukoil said its oil production for 2016 was 8.6 percent lower than in 2015, but higher for the fourth quarter by about 2.5 percent.

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About 95 percent of total Lukoil production volume comes from reserves in Russian territory.

Sergei Donskoi, the Russian minister for natural resources and the environment, told news agency Tass that energy companies in Russia were expected to spend more on offshore oil and gas exploration this year.

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"The plan for 2017 [for Rosneft] is to spend $750 million, which is almost a four-fold increase versus 2016," he was quoted as saying.

Lukoil is a minor player when it comes to offshore licenses for oil production in Russia with 14 of the 138 listed as of February. Rosneft, which holds 53 offshore licenses, aims to spend around $756 million offshore.

The announcement on spending follows a weekend meeting for parties to an agreement led by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to limit oil production. A joint monitoring committee said that, as of February, compliance was around 94 percent, an increase of 8 percent from January.

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"This demonstrates the willingness of all participating countries to continue their cooperation," a joint statement read.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak is a chairman of the monitoring committee and has been a strong vocal supporter of the arrangement. A March report from the International Energy Agency said cuts from Russia, which account for more than half of the voluntary declines from non-OPEC members, would be "gradual."

Lukoil President Vagit Alekperov said earlier this month it would be reasonable to extend the terms of the agreement. Parties to the weekend meeting said they'd review the issue again next month.

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