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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

TNK-BP Sticks to Gas Utilization Plan

VAKHITOVSKOYE FIELD, Orenburg Region -- TNK-BP is pressing ahead with a gas utilization program as the Kremlin threatens to punish firms for gas flaring, the firm's top executive said Thursday.

"We have a program of over $500 million approved by the board and could expand it potentially to $1 billion," TNK-BP's executive vice president for production, Sergei Brezitski, said of the plan that runs to 2010.

Brezitski said that of the $500 million, some $345 million would go to Orenburg Neft, TNK-BP's unit in the southern Urals, and over $200 million would be invested in western Siberia to increase gas utilization to 95 percent from 66 to 73 percent now.

TNK-BP says its plan to utilize more gas is not politically motivated.

"The state started demanding the utilization of more gas only recently while we have been working on it since 2004," said Orenburg Neft's head Alexander Berman.