Russia will run out of oil by 2044, with production beginning to decline in 2020, according to Russian Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Sergey Donskoy. The minister further explained that although recoverable oil reserves were estimated at about 29b tons and the crude oil production was preliminary expected to amount to 505m tons, the volumes of proved reserves consist of only 50% of the given amounts, which is about 14b tons, according to experts. The reserves will thus last for only 28 years, unlike initially estimated 57 years, RT reported.
Nevertheless, the minister said that even with the collapsing crude prices, making exploration activities more complicated financially, Russian companies will not cut back on exploration, rather maintain the 2015 levels. While Surgutneftegaz confirmed there will be no reduction of its exploration activities, Rosneft stated that it is focused on increasing drilling by 40% compared to 2015. Bashneft seeks to compensate reduced extraction with increased stockpiles.
Additionally, Moscow has big plans for its Arctic drilling. In August 2015, the country filed an application to expand the boundaries of its continental shelf in the region. The volumes may reach 5b tons of untapped oil and natural gas reserves worth as much as $30t.
It was also reported that a revised production schedule for Gazprom Neft’s Prirazlomnoye Artctic field, recently approved by Russia’s Federal Subsoil Resources Management Agency, has seen the field’s peak production period increased from three years to five. Sustainable drilling over this period means that oil production will be increased by a factor of 1.8, to a total of 23.1m tons, according to WorldOil.