* 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 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
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)