The CEO of Russian oil major Lukoil, Vagit Alekperov, has asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to provide the company with three additional unexplored subsoil areas in the Caspian Sea shelf zone, Kommersant reports.
In his letter to the Russian leader, Alekperov stressed that Lukoil’s subsidiary (Lukoil-Nizhnevolzhskneft) had a shortage of new exploration projects.
The oil giant has been interested in offshore projects for a long time, but under the law, the company has no access to such areas. Alekperov earlier noted that all promising Arctic shelf sections had been acquired by state-run giants Rosneft and Gazprom.
In addition to the Caspian shelf zone, the company currently is also developing deposits in the Baltic Sea.
Lukoil is currently developing two deposits in the Russian sector of the Caspian Sea (the Filanovsky and Korchagin oil fields), which produce about seven million tons of oil per year.
Lukoil knows the Caspian Sea shelf area quite well and has a wealth of successful experience there, Fitch analyst Dmitry Marinchenko told Kommersant. The renewal of its resource base is an essential long-term issue for the company, he noted.
According to Raiffeisenbank’s Andrei Polishchuk, unallocated reserves are few in number in Russia, so Lukoil is trying to have dibs on some promising projects. Moreover, in Russia, the company’s ability to acquire new deposits is limited, the expert added.