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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

LUKoil Boosts Gas Reserves

LUKoil, the country's biggest oil company, boosted proved natural gas reserves in 2006 as it made discoveries near the Caspian Sea, even as the company failed to completely replace crude oil reserves.

LUKoil had 753 billion cubic meters of gas at the end of last year and 15.9 billion barrels of oil reserves, based on an audit by Miller and Lents, the company said in a statement Monday. Gas reserves rose 5.1 percent from one year earlier and oil reserves dropped 1.2 percent.

The company replaced more than four times the amount of natural gas it pumped last year and 73 percent of the crude oil, said Andrei Gromadin, an oil analyst at MDM Bank.

"LUKoil raised its capital expenditure budget and could considerably increase crude oil reserves in two regions of growth, Timan-Pechora and the north Caspian, in the next two years," Gromadin said.

"It also holds considerable natural gas reserves it may tap as it expands petrochemicals output."

Exploration added 617 billion barrels of oil equivalent to reserves, which includes crude oil and natural gas. The figure includes a new discovery, the Filanovsky field in the north Caspian region.

LUKoil will invest as much as $3 billion in refining and petrochemicals production this year after President Vladimir Putin urged business leaders to develop manufacturing.

LUKoil will spend $2.3 billion to upgrade and expand oil refining and $700 million to develop petrochemicals production, company CEO Vagit Alekperov said Monday in remarks relayed by spokesman Dmitry Dolgov.