The volume of natural gas production at four gas and gas condensate deposits whose exploitation the Itera Group participates in, reached about 30 billion cubic meters in 2001, the Itera Press Service reported. It pointed out that this amount makes up over a half of all natural gas to be produced by all independent gas producing companies. Itera plans to invest 1.5 billion in the gas producing industry in the next 7-8 years, and to increase the annual volume of gas production to 80 billion cubic meters. A representative of the Itera Press Service told RBC that the company had begun exploration of two new deposits in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area, Khancheiskoye and Beregovoye. At the same time Itera in cooperation with Gazprom has started the implementation of the project of production of intractable gas and gas condensate reserves at the Urengoi deposit. In 2002 Itera plans to begin exploration of new gas deposits in a number of Central Asian countries of the CIS. As it was reported earlier, Itera had invested over $800 million in exploration of deposits in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area in the past four years.