Author`s name Pravda.Ru

LUKoil starts production at oilfield in Baltic Sea

LUKoil-Kaliningradmorneft, a subsidiary of LUKoil, has begun oil production at the Kravtsovskoye deposit in the Baltic Sea, the company reported.

The Kravtsovskoye deposit was discovered in 1983 and is 22.5 kilometers off the coast of the Kaliningrad region (a Russian enclave on the Baltic Sea). In the area of the deposit, the Baltic Sea is 25-35 meters deep.

According to the results of the exploration, which was led by LUKoil-Kaliningradmorneft, the Kravtsovskoye deposit's C1 and C2 reserves are 21.5 million metric tons and its recoverable reserves are 9.1 million metric tons.

All production will be carried out according to the zero dump principle (all industrial and household waste will be taken to the coast and recycled, which is especially important because the deposit is in the immediate proximity of the unique Kurshskaya Kosa nature reserve on the border with Lithuania and the authorities have expressed concern about beginning production on the shelf deposit several times). The company has allocated 174 million rubles for environmental protection. ($1 is approximately 29 rubles.)

7.7 billion rubles will be invested in the development of the deposit. Twenty-one wells are planned to be drilled on the field. The deposit has an average depth of 2,160 meters. By the end of this year, 70,000 metric tons of oil are expected to be produced. By 2007, the volume of oil production is expected to reach 600,000 metric tons and remain at that level for seven years. Operations on the deposit will last for 30-35 years.

From an onshore platform, a 47-kilometer underwater pipeline has been laid. The pipeline will transport crude and associated gas to the Romanovo oil gathering point, where it will be processed into a standard commodity.

The oil produced from the deposit will be delivered to the Izhevsk export terminal, which has the storage capacity of 120,000 cubic meters.

In 2003, the volume of transshipment oil and petroleum products through the terminal reached 3.3 million metric tons. With the beginning of production at the Kravtsovskoye deposit, the terminal's capacity is planned to increase to 4 million metric tons. In the long term, the terminal's capacity could be increase to 6 million metric tons of oil and petroleum products a year.

"We are proud that our company was able to implement this unique project," Vagit Alekperov, the president of LUKoil said, "which will allow us to strengthen the position of Russia in the Baltic region. The company has once again proved that Russian oilmen possess advanced technology and can achieve impressive results. The beginning of production at the Kravtsovskoye deposit will almost double oil production in the Kaliningrad region, increase the region's total exports and improve its foreign trade balance."