Lukoil Launches Siberian Oilfield

Lukoil Launches Siberian OilfieldLukoil Launches Siberian Oilfield

Russia’s No.2 oil producer Lukoil launched an oilfield in western Siberia ahead of schedule on Wednesday, a major step in its drive to prop up falling production and to weather US sanctions over Ukraine.

The United States imposed sanctions on Lukoil and other Russian energy companies last month, preventing US firms from supporting the Russian firms’ activities in exploration or production from deep water, Arctic offshore or shale projects. The sanctions have also limited the companies’ access to Western capital markets.

“The field is launched, though there is a difficulty with raising finance,” Chief Executive Officer Vagit Alekperov was quoted by Reuters as saying at the Imilorskoye field. The field, which is part of the Imilorskoye group of fields with total extractable oil reserves of 194 million tons (1.4 billion barrels), was originally due to be launched in March next year.

West Siberia is at the heart of Russia’s oil industry, the world’s largest by output. However, oil production there has been on decline due to depletion at the fields.