April 17, 2014 - A new oil field with roughly 300 million tons of oil and 90 billion cubic meters of gas has been discovered in the Astrakhan region of Russia.
"The field's reserves are unprecedented, this discovery confirms the high potential of the Astrakhan region in terms of these major discoveries," Sergey Donskoy, Russia's Natural Resources Minister said on Wednesday.
The field, called "Velikoe" (The Great) was discovered by the AFB Oil and Gas Company, which will likely seek out larger partners to develop it.
Two likely candidates are Rosneft, Russia's state-owned and largest producer, and Lukoil, the country's second biggest producer.
"According to experts, given the lack of large land deposits, project participation will likely come from all major industry players. The most probable partners are Rosneft and Lukoil, which already have projects in neighboring regions," Uralsib Capital analyst Aleksey Kokin told mail.ru.
Kokin estimates the deposits could be worth nearly $1 billion. Rosneft has projects in the neighboring Vanqor oil field, which has a capacity of 140 million tons.
The last major land hydrocarbon deposit discovery was the Vanqor field in 1988, which has over 500 million tons of oil in estimated reserves. Another Astrakhan region field is Lukoil's Filanovsky field, which has more than 150 million tons of recoverable oil in the Caspian Sea.
In 2012, the company opened the neighboring Tambov field, also located in the Astrakhan oil field, which is the world's fifth largest.