Russia's proven hydrocarbon reserves will increase much less than previously expected in 2015, the Russian Environment Ministry says.
MOSCOW, Jan 26 (Reuters) - Russia's proven hydrocarbon reserves will increase much less than previously expected in 2015, the Russian Environment Ministry said on Monday, as lower oil prices and Western sanctions discourage exploration efforts.
The ministry said it expected proven reserves to grow by around 500 million tones of oil and 650 billion cubic metres of gas this year, having previously seen growth of more than 750 million tonnes and 1.5 trillion cubic metres a year, respectively, between 2015 and 2020.
Preliminary figures from the ministry showed proven oil reserves growing by 550 million tonnes in 2014, gas condensate reserves by 100 million tonnes and natural gas reserves by 900 billion cubic metres.
In January 2014 oil reserves were put at 18.2 billion tonnes and gas at 49.5 trillion cubic metres.
Western sanctions have cut off Russian energy companies such as Rosneft from Western funding and technologies for offshore and hard-to-recover oil, while the price of oil has plummeted, making investors wary of new projects for the time being.
(Reporting by Olesya Astakhova; Writing by Thomas Grove; Editing by David Holmes)
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