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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

2011 Gas-Flaring Target May Be Missed

The government may fail to meet an ambitious target set by President Vladimir Putin to cease almost all wasteful flaring of gas during oil production as early as 2011, an Industry and Energy Ministry official said Tuesday.

Alexander Savinov, the head of the ministry's oil industry regulation department, said gas flaring could be reduced to 15 percent of production by 2011, instead of the 5 percent demanded by Putin.

"It is planned to raise the associated gas utilization to 85 percent of production by 2011, gradually raising it to 95 percent by 2015," he said.

The ministry has said Russia was losing up to $13 billion a year because of wasted gas associated with oil.

Russia aims to approve legal measures to encourage oil firms to spend billions of dollars on cutting gas flaring to protect the environment and save gas that is burned at oil fields because there is no infrastructure to process it for use.

Savinov said some 24.4 percent of the country's 2006 associated gas production of 58 billion cubic meters was wastefully flared.

He said major oil firms were responsible for 83 percent of associated gas production but that gas flaring differed significantly from company to company.

Surgutneftegas, the country's fourth- largest oil company, is the leader in terms of associated gas utilization, with production of 15.6 bcm, of which only 1 bcm is flared.

Rosneft extracted 8.7 bcm and flared 3.6 bcm, LUKoil produced 7 bcm of which 1.9 bcm was flared, and No. 3 oil company TNK-BP extracted 10.9 bcm and flared 2.3 bcm.