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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

$94Bln for Siberian Gas Plan

The government has approved a 2.4 trillion ruble ($94 billion) program to tap eastern Siberia's vast gas fields and build storage and pipelines to meet growing domestic and Asian demand for fuel.

Of the amount, 1.3 trillion rubles will have to be invested in gas production and processing by 2020, Oleg Ivanov, deputy head of long-term planning at Gazprom, said in a statement from the Industry and Energy Ministry on Friday. The ministry approved Gazprom's program earlier last week.

The country plans to produce as much as 27 billion cubic meters of gas in the east of the country in 2010, and more than triple output to 85 bcm in 2015 and 150 bcm in 2020.

Pipeline exports of gas to China and South Korea may reach from 25 billion to 50 billion cubic meters of natural gas a year by 2020, while as much as 21 bcm of liquefied natural gas, or LNG, may be shipped by tanker to Asia-Pacific nations, the ministry said. Gazprom is considering possible pipeline routes from western Siberia and from Sakhalin to China. Eastern fields will also supply from 27 bcm to 41 bcm to the domestic market.

Gazprom's huge Kovykta field, acquired from TNK-BP in June, may start producing in 2017 although the timeframe will depend on domestic and export demand, Ivanov told reporters Friday.

Gazprom's Sakhalin-2 project will start producing 9.6 million tons of LNG for export next year.