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Russia to run out of oil in six years?!

Taking into account today's tempos of oil extraction, existing oil supply in Russia will last only until 2010, stated head of the department of fuel and energy resources and water works of the Ministry of Russian Natural Resources, Rinat Murzin.

The point is that the level of oil reproduction is significantly lower than the amount of oil that is being extracted. In 2002 oil reserves have increased by 254 million tons with oil extraction of 380 million tons. In 2003, before the initial estimates, oil reserves equaled to 240 million tons, whereas oil extraction has increased up to 421 million tons. The Ministry of Natural Resources blames oil companies for today's situation, since they practically totally refrain from conducting exploration works.

According to the Ministry's representative, oil tycoons have to strictly follow license conditions, especially in those regions that have been granted specifically for geological scouting. In addition, he also mentioned that today it appears to be of utmost importance to pay closer attention to project documentation. The Ministry also plans to establish close monitoring of the uses of oilfields.

In the meantime, the Ministry official's statement regarding the fact that 2010 could be marked by major oil crisis isn't taken seriously by the experts, since it all concerns the actual compatibility of today's oilfields and companies' future plans concerning oil extraction. Overall, the situation is such that with today-s tempos of oil extraction, oil workers will be able to hold out for several more decades.

Big companies have 'reserve lives'¦, meaning a correlation of already proven oilfields to today-s level of extraction. It will be enough for 30 years. Therefore, while it is true that the monitoring should be more efficient, one cannot agree with the fact that the resources will soon be exhausted,¦ stated the analyst of the ATON company, Timerbulat Karimov.

As far as geological scouting is concerned, analysts assume that no administrative measures could change the existing situation. ?Companies will continue to conduct active geological scouting only in case a proper law of earth's reserves will be passed. Then, the companies will be guaranteed that after investing in geological analysis, they will have a chance to add those resources to their balance sheet and trade them, just as it is done in the world. Today, our companies lack such guarantees, considers the analyst of the FINAM company, Marina Lukashova.

Editorial Notes: Some obvious translation curiosities, but appears as on Pravda Online in English. Note the positive spin Pravda puts on the governments statement.

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