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  Tuesday, November 12, 2019
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Russia should build a series of gas refineries in its east to produce and sell highly profitable natural gas derivatives including helium
Russia should build a series of gas refineries in its east to produce and sell highly profitable natural gas derivatives including helium, a senior Gazprom official said Friday. "We should not simply develop gas deposits and sell gas to domestic and foreign consumers," said Gazprom deputy board chairman Alexander Ananenkov, adding that development of large deposits of natural gas with high helium concentration located in eastern Siberia and Yakutia just to raise production of fuel gas was unacceptable. Ananenkov said development of methane deposits should include production of other valuable gas components, including helium, ethanol and heavier hydrocarbon derivatives, to make more effective use of oil-dissolved gas contained in largest deposits in eastern Russia. The Kovyktinsky field in the Irkutsk Region and the Chayandinsk field in Yakutia contain 80% of Russia's helium reserves, but full-scale development could start only from 2015, Ananenkov said. Demand for helium is expected to rise in the near future as the nuclear power and defense industries expand. Ananenkov said 25% of Russia's gas reserves, or more than 59 trillion cubic meters, is concentrated in the eastern part of the country, where four large gas production centers could be formed in the future: in the Irkutsk Region, the Krasnoyarsk Region, on Sakhalin and in Yakutia. All four centers will be connected by a unified gas transportation system, as part of the national gas transportation network.
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