UPDATE 1-Rosneft says huge oil/gas potential in Russia's East
* Russia says 17.8 bln T proven oil reserves as of Jan 2012
* Sechin pushes Russian energy shift to Asia from Europe
* Russia ramping up East Siberian production (Adds details, background)
By Denis Dyomkin
YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK, Russia, July 16 (Reuters) - Top Russian oil producer Rosneft said it expected to confirm resources of around 14 billion tonnes of oil equivalent at new fields in Russia's eastern offshore zones, providing crude it could use to supply Asian markets.
Rosneft President Igor Sechin, standing on an oil platform at Sakhalin-1 with senior ExxonMobil executives, told President Vladimir Putin by video conference that exploration works were under way at some of the fields.
Rosneft is planning to explore 20 exploration blocks, sited offshore in the Okhotsk, Laptev and Chukotka seas, in bilateral partnerships with Exxon Mobil, Statoil and Inpex of Japan.
Boosting oil production is essential for Rosneft, the world's largest publicly listed oil company by volume output, after it struck deals to ramp up exports of oil to China. It has yet to clarify how it will meet those supply commitments.
As the old Soviet fields of West Siberia decline, Russia's eastern regions are widely seen as the best bet for new exploration.
Sechin told Putin that Rosneft planned to invest 52 billion roubles ($1.6 billion) in eastern projects in 2013. Of that, 27 billion would be spent on exploration and production, 23 billion on refining and 2 billion on supply of oil products, he said.
Rosneft recently launched seismic research at Magadan-1 in the Sea of Okhotsk with Statoil.
Led by Sechin, a powerful Putin ally, Russia is rapidly shifting its energy policy towards Asia and China in particular, the second-largest oil consumer after the United States.
Last week, Russian Deputy Energy Minister Kirill Molodtsov said oil exports to Europe, which now accounts for the bulk of Russia's total of around 4.4 million barrels per day, may fall as the Kremlin ramps up eastbound oil exports.
Russia is the world's biggest producer of oil and second-largest of gas.
The government for the first time last week published figures on Russia's oil and gas reserves, previously classified as a state secret.
According to Sergey Donskoy, minister of natural resources and environment, Russia had 17.8 billion tonnes of proven oil reserves and 48.8 trillion cubic meters of gas under ABC1 classification standards as of January 2012.
By comparison, BP's statistical review of world energy estimated that Russia had 11.9 billion tonnes of proven oil reserves and 32.9 trillion cubic metres of proven gas reserves as of end-2012. (Reporting by Denis Dyomkin; Writing by Katya Golubkova and Melissa Akin; Editing by Douglas Busvine and Jane Baird)
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