Nature Minister meets with Gazprom CEO

Russian Nature Minister Vitaly Artyukhov and head of the Gazprom gas holding Alexey Miller discussed exploration and development of deposits on the Yamal peninsular and of the Shtokmanovskoye deposit in the Barents Sea. They also touched upon the creation of the 2003 program of exploration activities for Russia's gas giant, the press service of the Nature Ministry reported.

It pointed out that the Ministry had continued paying special attention to exploration of natural resources within a conceptual position the State Council presided over by Russian President Vladimir Putin, approved this February. In 2002, an increase in explored hydrocarbon resources as compared to the current production rate has been registered for the first time over the past decade.

According to forecasts of the Natural Ministry, beginning 2007, the Yamal peninsular and Russia's northern seas will become strategic regions for providing the necessary amount of gas production, long term. Before 2020, the exploration of Yamal's deposits will require $70bn.

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