Investment in oil and gas exploration may drop 10-15% in 2016

The minister said that would have a negative effect on the future extraction.

Investment in geological exploration for oil and gas in Russia may reduce 10-15% in 2016, Minister of Natural Resources and Ecology Sergei Donskoy said in a program aired by the NTV television channel.

"Investment in hydrocarbon [exploration] will reduce somewhere between 10% and 15%, somewhere between these two digits," he said.

The minister said that would have a negative effect on the future extraction. "If the dynamics of low prices and reducing investment persists, this dynamics will be bad, primarily, for the long-term future. There is a period of falling prices, and there is a period of growing prices. By the moment prices go up, we need to have reserves we will be able to develop," the minister said.

"We need to take comprehensive measures of administrative and economic motivation, so that, even under the current circumstances, companies invest in geological exploration for hydrocarbons and prepare fields for extraction," Donskoy said.

"The situation is better with solid minerals," the minister said, adding that things were still not easy in the geological exploration for diamonds. "No large discoveries were made in the diamond sector last year," he said.

Earlier, the Natural Resources and Ecology Ministry forecasted a decrease in geological exploration investments by approximately 10-15% in 2015.

However, the growth of oil reserves reached 710 million tonnes amid production of 536 million tonnes in 2015, while gas reserves' growth reached 900 billion cubic meters and the production stood at 633 billion cubic meters.

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