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Trutnev: 10 Oil Fields To Be Deemed Strategic January 31, 2007

Posted by notapundit in World News.
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MOSCOW (Dow Jones)–A long-awaited draft Subsoil Law governing access to Russia’s natural resource wealth will label 42 large undistributed oil, gas, gold, and copper deposits ‘strategic,’ Russian Minister of Natural Resources Yuri Trutnev said Wednesday, according to Russian Itar-Tass newswire

Dubbing reserves strategic will place limits on foreign companies’ ability to develop them.

The long-awaited law has been in development for more than a year, and is due to be submitted to the Russian lower house of parliament, or Duma, by the Ministry of Industry and Energy.

Ten oil deposits, each holding more than 70 million metric tons of oil, or about 513 million barrels, are covered by the draft law, Trutnev said. The combined total of those oil fields is 1.376 billion metric tons, or 10.09 billion barrels.

The bill names as strategic 26 natural gas fields with reserves over 50 billion cubic meters, gold deposits over 50 metric tons, and five copper fields with reserves over 500,000 metric tons.

Trutnev said so far only one gold field, known as Sukhoi Log, would be labeled strategic.

Trutnev said that large fields already held by foreign companies won’t have their ownership rights reviewed.

“The bill will not apply to existing contracts, for instance, those dealing with the Sakhalin fields, where foreign capital is involved,” Trutnev told a meeting of the government, according to the Interfax news agency.

By Greg Walters, Dow Jones Newswires

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