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Rosneft Posts Higher Reserves, Helped by Oil Price, Tax

OAO Rosneft increased proved hydrocarbon reserves 16 percent last year, boosted by a reassessment of its biggest gas field, as well as high oil prices and lower export duties.

Total reserves were 17.62 billion barrels of oil equivalent as of Dec. 31, based on U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission methodology, the Moscow-based company said today in a statement. Proved oil reserves rose 3.9 percent to 14.29 billion barrels.

High prices and the government’s decision to lower the rate of crude export duty in October allowed Rosneft to book reserves that weren’t previously economical, said Alexander Nazarov, an oil and gas analyst at OAO Gazprombank.

Continued exploration at Rosneft’s Vankor field in East Siberia may have also contributed, Nazarov said. “The more you drill at a young field like Vankor, the more you explore, which can lead to a reassessment of the field’s reserves,” he said.

Russia’s biggest oil producer replaced 162 percent of its crude reserves last year. Gas reserves more than doubled, Rosneft said, following a review of Kharampurskoye, its largest field.

Rosneft reported 18.35 billion barrels of oil reserves, according to Petroleum Resources Management System standards, up from 18.11 billion barrels on the same basis the previous year.

SEC standards apply stricter commercial criteria to qualify reserves as proven than more geologically oriented Petroleum Resources standards.

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