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LUKoil, Gazprom find large Caspian gas, oilfield

Russian energy majors LUKoil and Gazprom have discovered a large oil and gas field offshore the Russian sector of the Caspian Sea, the firms said on Thursday.

The companies said the field had been discovered at the Tsentralnaya structure in the Caspian, on the Russian-Kazakh border, 150 km to the east of Makhachkala, the capital of Russia’s southern region of Dagestan. “While testing the deposit a fountain of low-sulphur crude oil was received from a well,” the firms said in a statement. They did not give any potential reserve estimate, saying an additional seismic study was needed.

LUKoil, Russia’s No. 2 oil producer and gas export monopoly Gazprom set up a 50/50 venture in 2003 as part of the Russian-Kazakh agreement on splitting the northern part of the Caspian Sea. Under the deal, the Tsentralnaya structure was handed to Russia on condition that commercial reserves if found would be jointly developed by Russia and Kazakhstan. LUKoil, which sees Caspian Sea as one of its top growth regions, has discovered six deposits in the area from 1999 to 2005. It has said it is able to produce 240,000 barrels per day from only two of them, Korchagin and Filanovsky, by 2016. (Reuters)