The Irkutsk Gas Company (INK) and the Japan Oil, Gas and Metals Cooperation (JOGMEC) will invest $300 million until 2014 in the development of three oil and gas sites in the north of Russia's Irkutsk region, the head of the INK board of directors said on Saturday.
INK and JOGMEC began working together in 2007, when they established two joint ventures for the development of three oil and gas sites in the north of Irkutsk region: North Mogdinsk, West Yaraktinsk and Bolshetirsk.
"We plan to invest $300 million in the project. INK will contribute 51 percent, while JOGMEC will contribute 49 percent," Nikolai Buinov said.
The reserves of North Mogdinsk are estimated at around 14.8 million tons, INK said in a report, although Buinov said they could in fact amount to as much as 50 million tons.
The report said gas deposits at West Yaraktinsk have been confirmed, while drilling is still being carried out at Bolshetirsk.
Buinov estimated that the first oil from the deposits would enter Japan on the East Siberia - Pacific Ocean (ESPO) oil pipeline in three to four years time.
The ESPO pipeline is slated to pump up to 1.6 million barrels of crude per day from Siberia to Russia's Far East and then onto China and the Asia-Pacific region. The pipeline's first leg is expected to be commissioned in late 2009.
JOGMEC President Hirobumi Kawano said the company was considering using new Japan GTL technology, which allows the production of liquid fuels from natural gas, in the excavation of the Irkutsk fields.
INK has licenses to develop 11 oil and gas deposits in the north of the Irkutsk region.
JOGMEC, which is 100 percent owned by the Japanese government, is engaged in gas and mining projects in a number of different countries and has a market capitalization of $3.37 billion.
IRKUTSK, October 23 (RIA Novosti)