Belarus’ commercial oil reserves are to rise by at least 4.15 million tonnes in 2006–2010 in line with the state program of geological prospecting for 2006–2010 that has recently been approved by the government, an official with the geology department with the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Ministry informed us. Specialists believe new deposits will be opened in the center of the Pripyatsky downwarp, Orshansky and Podleskovsky basins.
At the same time, specialists admitted that due to objective reasons oil production in the country has been steadily decreasing. In 1995 Belarus’ only oil producer Belorusneft’s output was at 2 million tonnes, whereas in 2006 oil extraction is expected at 1.78 million tonnes. “Over the past 10 years oil extraction has been going down by 20,000 to 25,000 tonnes a year. Oil production will be decreasing further in the next five years by 10,000 to 15,000 tonnes every year,” specialists with the geology department said.
At the same time, the modern methods of increasing the reservoir recovery will allow Belarus to keep oil production unchanged at around 1.72 million tonnes a year starting 2010.
Specialists inform that as of January 1, 2006 recoverable oil reserves were at 60 million tonnes, a rise by 7 million tonnes in 2001–2005. In the period, some 9 million tonnes of crude oil were produced in Belarus.