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Russia plans to substantially increase offshore oil output by 2030

(Xinhua)

08:01, August 03, 2012

MOSCOW, Aug. 2 (Xinhua) -- Russia planned to increase oil output from its continental shelf five-fold and the extraction of natural gas four-fold by 2030, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Thursday.

Under the plan, Russia's oil production would reach 66.2 million tons while the gas output would be 230 billion cubic meters, Medvedev told a government meeting.

The government was considering long-term exploration of the shelf's energy resources, Medvedev said, adding Russia would earn 8 trillion rubles (266 billion U.S. dollars) after the program was implemented.

Medvedev said exploration in the Arctic region was urgent, but admitted it had been hampered by a lack of infrastructure in the region and funding.

He also criticized the government for lax regulation over the issuance of licenses to develop the country's continental shelf.

"We issue licenses but we have not got proper control over the operations by both state-owned and private companies," he said.

He ordered a working group be set up headed by Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich to improve the shelf development program.

In June, Russia's largest state-run oil company, Rosneft, struck deals with Italian energy company Eni and Norwegian state-run Statoil for joint development of offshore projects, including some in the Arctic.

According to Energy Minster Alexander Novak, Russia's oil production may drop dramatically in the next 20 years unless more investment is made in the industry.

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