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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Russia's Tatneft to drill exploratory oil wells in Libya, Syria

MOSCOW, July 16 (RIA Novosti) - Tatneft, one of Russia's top 10 oil producers, announced Wednesday plans to drill exploratory oil wells in Libya and Syria. Tatneft, which is based in Tatarstan in the Volga River area and accounts for more than 80% of the republic's oil output, plans to boost its crude production outside the republic by 60% to 315,000 metric tons (2.3 million barrels). It is carrying out geological prospecting at four blocks in Libya and one block in Syria. "In Syria, six exploratory wells are planned, two of which have already been drilled. In Libya, the plan is to drill four oil wells this year," Tatneft said in a statement. Tatneft received the right to develop three oil fields in Libya with reserves of over 1 billion metric tons (7 billion barrels) of oil in December 2006. Prior to that, the company had signed a contract with Libya for one oil field. In March 2005, Tatneft signed a contract to explore and develop a new oil and gas field in eastern Syria. Tatneft produced 13 million tons (95.6 million barrels) in the first half of 2008, up 0.7% against the same period last year, the company earlier said in a statement.

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