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Russia offers new deposits for geological prospecting

Russia's Natural Resources Ministry is offering 93 new deposits for prospecting, including fields in East and West Siberia, the ministry's press office said Monday.

"The ministry has approved new lists of deposits offered for geological prospecting in 2007 at the expense of natural resources companies," the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry will offer 38 hydrocarbon deposits with total reserves of about 100 million metric tons of oil (733 million barrels) and 500 billion cubic meters of natural gas, and also 55 fields with solid minerals, including diamonds (more than 40 million carats) and gold (over 400 million metric tons), the statement said.

The list also includes four deposits with spring water and therapeutic muds, the statement said.

The ministry is offering companies licenses to prospect oil and gas in the Khanty-Mansi and the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Districts in West Siberia, solid minerals in the Arkhangelsk Region in northern European Russia, diamonds and gold in Yakutia in the Far East, gold in the Irkutsk Region in East Siberia, the Magadan Region in the Far East, and the Murmansk Region in the Arctic, and coal in the Kemerovo Region in West Siberia.

According to Russian law, companies that obtain the right to carry out geological prospecting of deposits automatically receive the right to develop these fields, if their reserves are proved.

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