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MOSCOW, December 22. /TASS/. The Russian Energy Ministry has noted the growing interest of China and India in the development of Russian deposits, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said in an interview with the Kommersant daily.
He said the high-profile 30-year gas contract with China signed in May is a "strategically important decision."
“We diversified gas supplies to the east, we are opening a really new market. A new infrastructure will be built for tens of years ahead and maybe even more,” Novak said.
“India is another huge market that needs to be occupied, including by gas supplies. The talk is not only of liquefied natural gas; there is an instruction to consider the construction of a gas pipeline to India,” he said.
Speaking about the level of oil production in 2014, Novak said: “This year, we expect oil and gas condensate production to grow by some 3.4 million tons, that is 0.7% In 2015, oil production is expected at the level of 525 million tons.”
The minister called Western sanctions “a challenge for the (oil and gas) industry”, which has in the past 14 years developed in more than favorable conditions.
“Now that some of our foreign partners in conditions of sanctions, contrary to their own benefit leave Russian projects, we have to solve two tasks at once: seek new partners to develop deposits and replace technologies,” he said.
In order to remain competitive, “it is necessary to master new technologies, and Russian companies are doing that,” Novak said. “The production of the so-called shale oil is one of the industry’s strategic priorities for the medium term.”
He said shale gas could be considered as a promising source of natural gas for Russia.