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Sakhalin-1 Production to Get Boost-Japex

Source: Reuters 5/25/2010, Location: Asia

Production from Russia's Far East Sakhalin-1 oil project will get a boost of 30,000 barrels per day (bpd) after the second of three fields included in the project reaches peak next year, a stakeholder said.

Crude production from the Odoptu field, slated to start in second-half 2010, will add to output at the current sole producing Chayvo field, Osamu Watanabe, President of Japan Petroleum Exploration (Japex) (1662.T: Quote, Profile, Research) said at the Reuters Global Energy Summit in Tokyo.

Production from the Chayvo oilfield is expected to fall to around 150,000 bpd in 2010, down from about 165,000 bpd in 2009, as production steadily declines after peaking earlier this decade.

The Sakhalin-1 project includes the phased development of three fields with an estimated total resource of 2.3 billion barrels (307 million tonnes) of oil and 17 trillion cubic feet (485 billion cubic metres) of natural gas.

The third field in the development, Arkutan-Dagi, is expected to start production by 2014 and is believed to have peak capacity output of about 80,000 bpd, but nothing has been finalised, Watanabe said from the firm's headquarters next to Tokyo Station.

Japex is a stakeholder in Japan's Sakhalin Oil and Gas Development Co Ltd (Sodeco), which along with field operator Exxon Mobil Corp, each hold a 30 percent stake in Sakahalin-1.

Indian and Russian firms own the remaining 40 percent.

Japex has a little more than 14 percent of Sodeco, which is half owned by the Japanese government and includes trading houses Itochu and Marubeni among its stakeholders.

Light sweet Sokol crude is exported from the Sakahalin-1 project.

In other projects, Japex and Malaysian state oil firm Petronas are working to complete the preliminary development plan for Iraq's Gharaf oilfield, which the two firms won in the OPEC nation's December auction of oil contracts.

Japex estimates the oil field has 1.2 billion barrels in reserves, Watanabe said, higher than the 900 million barrels in reserves estimated for the auction.

Production from Gharaf is expected to start in 2012 at a rate of 50,000 bpd, with output increased yearly by 50,000 bpd, until it hits peak production of 230,000 bpd in 2016.

Within Japan, Japex will start construction on a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving terminal in Hokkaido next month to meet projected growth in winter demand and expectations of higher demand for clean energy from the industrial sector.

Much of the firm's current supply to Hokkaido comes from gas produced at its Yufutsu gas field in northern Japan, but the terminal will help diversify the sources of the gas that the company sells.

Watanabe said the firm was also considering entering into future upstream gas projects to meet increasing gas demand in Japan.

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