Russia’s reserves of natural gas could run low in 70 years at the current production level, while oil reserves should last about 30 years, geological firm Rosgeo estimates show.
“Over the past 25 years there have been ten times fewer new reserves discovered than in the previous 25 years, with many Soviet deposits being depleted,” the company said.
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Besides oil and gas, the country’s other valuable reserves could also run low in a couple of decades, with the stock of diamonds and zinc sufficient for 20 years; gold and lead, for around a decade; and chromium reserves estimated to dry out in less than five years, Rosgeo warns.
The company’s data mirrors similar warnings from other sources. Last week, the acting head of Russia’s Federal Agency for Mineral Resources, Evgeny Petrov, said “profitable reserves [of oil] will last for around 20 or 21 years.” The official stressed that if Russia wants to retain its status as one of the world’s largest sellers of black gold, it will have to invest in new technologies to explore deposits that are harder to access, like those of Western Siberia.
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The head of Russia’s state-run energy giant Gazprom, Alexey Miller, drew a more positive picture for the country’s natural gas reserves, predicting over a century of steady supplies, with some deposits capable of delivering fuel until 2132. However, he didn’t speculate on what would happen after that.
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