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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ivanov Urges $100Bln for Caspian

Itar-TassPresident Vladimir Putin holding a baby sturgeon at an Astrakhan fish farm on Friday as Sergei Ivanov looks on.
First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said Friday that $100 billion of investment would be needed to develop oil and gas fields in the Russian sector of the Caspian Sea, Interfax reported.

Speaking to reporters in Astrakhan, Ivanov called for the accelerated development of the port's shipbuilding capacity to meet the anticipated increase in oil and gas output over the next two to three years, when LUKoil is due to start production at the Korchagina field.

"I believe that the capacity is insufficient at the moment," Ivanov said in comments aired on NTV television.

Following a Cabinet reshuffle earlier this year, President Vladimir Putin put Ivanov, formerly the defense minister, in charge of overseeing industry and technology.

Ivanov's investment projections coincided with comments from LUKoil, the country's second-biggest oil producer, that annual production in the Russia sector of the Caspian could reach 30 million tons (600,000 barrels per day) of oil and 20 billion cubic meters of gas by 2020. LUKoil expects to bring three Caspian fields onstream from 2009 to 2015.

Nikolai Nikolayev, head of LUKoil-Nizhnevolzhskneft, said 50 new drilling rigs and 100 service vessels would be needed to develop these fields, RIA-Novosti reported.

Oil producers have recently asked the government for tax breaks to help them develop deposits in areas such as the Caspian, where deposits are difficult to reach and infrastructure is still underdeveloped.