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MOSCOW, March 27. /TASS/. Russia’s largest gas producer Gazprom plans to invest 37.8 bln rubles ($665 mln) in offshore geological exploration this year, Russia’s Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Sergei Donskoi said in an interview with TASS, adding that Rosneft, the country’s top oil producer, will invest 43 bln rubles ($756 mln).
"The amount of Gazprom investment in offshore works was 30.8 bln rubles in 2016, which is an 8 bln rubles decrease compared with 2015. In 2017, the company plans to spend 37.8 bln rubles in offshore geological exploration. The amount of Rosneft investment equaled 11 bln rubles, while the plan for 2017 is to spend 43 bln rubles, which is almost a 4-fold increase versus 2016," he said.
According to the minister, this year is expected to see an increase in investment in geological exploration. "The working licenses of companies stipulate that the current level of seismic and drilling operations will be maintained, which virtually implies that investments will be retained and even boosted. In other words, we expect growth of investments in 2017," he said.
As of February 27, 2017, there were 138 offshore licenses on crude hydrocarbons in Russia, including works on seven state contracts, Donskoi said. Rosneft has 53 licenses, Gazprom - 41, Lukoil - 14 and Novatek - 7.
Earlier the minister said that investment of Russia’s oil majors in offshore works decreased by around 3 bln rubles in 2016 to 71.4 bln rubles ($1.2 bln).