Gennady Shmal
© RIA Novosti. Aleksandr Utkin

Shmal: We should focus on oil field exploration

Given the low oil prices, Russia should focus on field exploration, Gennady Shmal, president of the Union of Oil and Gas Producers of Russia, said at the international conference "Arctic and Shelf Projects: Prospects, Innovations and Development of the Russian Regions," held on February 18.

"The oil price situation gives us unexpected breathing space, which we should use to carry out field exploration," Shmal said. According to him, the area of Russian shelf is over 6 million square meters, however it has not been fully explored.

"Only 50 percent of our main oil source, onshore Western Siberia, has been explored," Shmal said. He believes the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Area has "huge potential in terms of both gas and oil." Development should be continued in the Kara Sea, on Sakhalin Island and in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area.

Shmal expects oil and gas to be produced at a lower cost and the price of oil to increase to $80-100 in the next five years.