Russia's second biggest oil company Lukoil replaced 95% of its 2009 production with new reserves, trailing behind its top rival Rosneft. Analysts closely watch reserves replacement ratio as a sign the company can grow production in the future and maintain output year to year. Lukoil, 20% owned by ConocoPhillips, said its proved reserves rose by 782 million barrels of oil equivalent due to geological exploration, production drilling and acquisitions in 2009, slightly below the amount it produced, reported Reuters.
Its total stood at 17.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent by the end of last year, including 13.7 billion barrels of oil and 22.9 trillion cubic feet of gas. The figure could have been 1.8 billion barrels of oil equivalent higher if Lukoil was not forced to transfer them from the category of proved reserves into lower categories citing new stricter rules by US Security and Exchange Commission. "The company expects that these volumes will be returned into the proved reserves category as their development start date draws nearer or some new technologies are applied," it said.
Rosneft said earlier this month it had increased its reserves by 2.5% last year, or 163% by different reporting standards, maintaining its position as the biggest of the world's publicly traded oil companies.