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Joint development of major oil and gas deposit

LUKOIL president Vagit Alekperov and GAZPROM head Alexei Miller have signed an agreement on the joint development of a major oil and gas deposit on the Caspian shelf: the Tsentralnaya geological structure. Deposit reserves are estimated at 430 million tonnes. According to forecasts, 78% is accounted for by gas. LUKOIL and GAZPROM will develop the structure on a 50/50 basis. According to Russian-Kazakh agreements, Russia will receive only 50% in the Tsentralnaya project, the rest will belong to Kazakhstan. According to industry watchers, Tsentralnaya is the least studied structure out of three blocks on the Caspian, for which LUKOIL holds licenses. Several hundred million dollars will be required to conduct exploration. Production will begin in 2005-06.

(NewsBase 09.ix.02)

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