Rosneft wins rights to Arctic gas acreage
Russia's Rosneft has been declared the winner of a state auction for exploration rights to two gas-containing blocks on the Arctic Taymyr peninsula, the country's natural resources ministry reported on April 12.
Exploration licences for the Turkovsky and Deryabinsky blocks were awarded to Rosneft's Vostok Oil subsidiary, which is looking to establish a major onshore hub for oil and LNG exports in the Arctic.
The Turkovsky block is 975 km2 in size and contains nearly 54bn m3 of estimated gas, under Russia's reserve classification system. Nine exploration wells have been drilled in the area, with one in 1988 identifying the Ushakovskoye gas field. The starting price for bids was 759mn rubles ($10.2mn), but Rosneft paid 835mn rubles.
The Deryabinsky area spans 405 km2 and contains the Deryabinskoye gas field. The block's resources are assessed at almost 55bn m3 of gas and 3.4mn metric tons of condensate. State subsoil licensing agency Rosnedra invited bids for the licence at a starting price of 1.42bn rubles, and Rosneft paid 1.57bn rubles.
Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin has suggested that the Vostok Oil project could eventually yield between 30mn and 50mn metric tons/year of LNG, in addition to over 2mn barrels/day of crude oil. According to Russian press reports, the company boss requested last year that the auction for the Turkovsky and Deryabinsky licences be held, while proposing terms that effectively singled out Rosneft as the only viable candidate.