Lukoil's Caspian find may contain 60% gas

Lukoil Pres. Vagit Alekperov on June 9 said that Severny, his company's offshore concession in the North Caspian Sea, appears to contain more natural gas than oil. Alekperov estimates the block's reserves are composed of about 60% gas and 40% oil.

Jun 21st, 2000


MOSCOW�Lukoil Pres. Vagit Alekperov on June 9 said that Severny, his company's offshore concession in the North Caspian Sea, appears to contain more natural gas than oil.

Alekperov estimates the block's reserves are composed of about 60% gas and 40% oil. This announcement is somewhat at odds with earlier pronouncements about the discovery, which has created political waves in the region (OGJ Online, May 25, 2000).

The Lukoil chief said in March that the first test well had revealed seven oil-bearing layers at Severny and that the field appeared to contain 300 million tonnes of crude (OGJ, Apr. 3, 2000, p. 32).

Some US commentators speculated last week that the composition of the deposit might prove problematic for Lukoil. The Caspian basin is already so well supplied with gas that Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan are vying for access to markets in Turkey, they pointed out.

They also speculated that Lukoil might face opposition from Russian gas monopoly Gazprom, which controls the federation's gas pipeline network.

Gazprom, perhaps out of fear for its market share in Europe, has been reluctant to let oil companies transport their gas through its pipelines, sources noted.

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