Small fire hits output at Russian TNK-BP oilfield

MOSCOW, Nov 20 (Reuters) - BP's BP.L Russian venture, TNK-BP, said on Thursday a minor fire disrupted oil output at its major Samotlor deposit in western Siberia, but the company hoped to resume production before the end of the day.

“During the afternoon of November 19 a pipeline ripped apart, causing oil-based liquids to leak through an area covering 200 square metres,” TNK-BP spokesman Vladimir Bobylev said.

The fire, which was extinguished within two hours, caused no casualties, he said.

“Oil production will be resumed by the end of the working day on November 20,” Bobylev said.

He did not say what share of the deposit’s production was affected.

Samotlor is TNK-BP’s largest deposit in west Siberia, which makes up more than 40 percent of the firm’s production. It is expected to produce around 660,000 barrels per day this year, up some 2 percent from last year.

Once the Soviet Union’s prized field, making up half of Soviet oil output when peaking at 7 million bpd in the 1980s, Samotlor is now 70 percent depleted. (Reporting by Tanya Mosolova; editing by Sue Thomas)