Russia to raise hard-to-recover oil output by 5.4 percent in 2017

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MOSCOW – Russia’s production of hard-to-recover oil will rise by about 5.4 percent this year to 39 million tonnes, Deputy Energy Minister Kirill Molodtsov said on Wednesday.

Production rose by 12 percent to 37 million tonnes in 2016, energy ministry data showed. It provided no forecast for 2018.

Hard-to-recover oil refers to reserves trapped between layers of rock which cannot be accessed using conventional, vertical drilling. It requires techniques including drilling horizontal wells and fracking, similar to methods used to extract shale gas and shale oil.

As part of Western sanctions over the conflict in Ukraine, the United States imposed restrictions on providing shale technology, in an effort to curb Russian oil output. But despite the sanctions on the Russian oil industry, oil production, including hard-to-recover crude, is growing.

Reporting by Olesya Astakhova; writing by Maria Kiselyova; editing by Jason Neely(Reuters)

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