Today the largest oil and gas fields of our country comprising the major share of extractable raw materials are located primarily in Western Siberia. Eastern Siberia, with its enormous reserves of these materials, is still waiting for its turn. Development of separate fields in this region is ineffective, what is necessary is an integrated federal program that requires the adoption of a number of specific and interrelated decisions.
According to Ye. Bogomolny, who in March 2005 published an article in the Nezavisimaya Gazeta, one could discuss a federal power program and economic development strategy since "development of Eastern Siberia is not only absolutely necessary, but also an unavoidable process for our country, with a natural replacement of depleted oil regions with newly discovered and developed ones".
According to preliminary estimates of experts, projects under consideration are economically feasible and highly attractive to investors. "Total volume of capital investments, including geological explorations, investments into extraction and field infrastructure are estimated at about 90 - 100 bn dollars, and net discount profits - 10 - 12 bn dollars". And the federal budget growth may exceed 40 bn dollars.
According geological prospecting data the major oil reserves include Yurubcheno-Takhomskoye, Kuyumbinskoye, Verkhnechonskoye, and Talakanskoye fields, gas reserves are concentrated at Kovytkinskoye and Chayandinskoye fields (the Irkutsk Region, Evenkiya). Available data on Western Siberia allows to be hopeful of successful management of prospecting of hydrocarbon raws. That is why not so long ago there was established an interdepartmental working group under the RF Ministry of Industry and Power Production including representatives of the Ministry of Economic Development and Natural Resources, Foreign Affairs and Regional Development. Also taking part are ОАО Gazprom and its scientific-research agencies, some RAS institutes, representatives of other oil and gas companies such as TNK-BP, RUSIA-Petroleum, Union of Independent Gas Producers, and ОАО Russian Railways also participate in these works. The objective of the group is to develop specific recommendations and solutions for implementing the program of regional development, especially as the RAS scientists have been speaking for about 20 years the necessity to develop new centers of oil and gas extraction in Eastern Siberia and Yakutia and their future high efficiency. What has been preventing the development of the mineral wealth in this region?
First of all, there should be a clear federal of the establishment of the East Siberian oil and gas complex. The essential element here is to satisfy demand for raw materials both in the region under consideration and in the Far East, arrange exports to the countries of the Asian and Pacific Region. This strategy will make it possible to analyze the existing markets and determine future rates of oil and gas production, consequently it will help to choose the routs of future oil and gas pipelines taking into account all factors involved.
Current stormy development of China's economy produces a huge shortage of hydrocarbon raws. It is not accidental that this country has already started the construction of terminals for purchasing and supply of liquid natural gas from the Near East. In future this will reduce the interest to the Russian gas. In addition to that: full-scale development of only the Kovytkinskoye field, achievement of the planned level of production and gas supplies to the domestic market and exports to China and Korea will accelerate the economic growth of the region. It cannot be denied that, as Ye. Bogomolny believes, 15 bn dollars (three fourth of the planned volume of investments into the project) to be spent for development of the Irkutsk Region project shall guarantee by 2020 an increase of the gross output by 2.7 in kind, and the gross output of the Eastern Siberia-by 2 times. By 2010 planned annual tax payments connected with implementation of this project may amount to 1.6 bn rbl., estimated contributions to budgets of the regions under development and regions where the gas pipeline shall be constructed may reach 204.5 mn rbl., contributions to the regional budget - 322.5 mn rbl., to the federal budget-1,064.3 mn rbl.
Russia has always been the main gas supplier to the European market. Today this market is already formed and rather stable as to its further development. Development of aforesaid fields in Western Siberia gives a real opportunity to our country to repeat this success via creation of a new base for the supply of "blue fuel" to the countries of the Asian and Pacific region for the next 20 years.
"Nezavisimaya Gazeta ", 2005
Prepared by Igor YEVLANOV
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