• Natural Gas News

    Russia Mulls Auctioning off Caspian Blocks: Press


Russia's natural resources ministry wants to auction the licences off, despite Lukoil requesting that it receive exploration rights without a tender.

by: Joseph Murphy

Posted in:

Natural Gas & LNG News, Europe, Premium, Corporate, Exploration & Production, Competition, Political, Licensing rounds, News By Country, Russia

Russia Mulls Auctioning off Caspian Blocks: Press

Russian natural resources minister Dmitry Kobylkin has recommended that the licences for three new oil and gas blocks in the northern Caspian Sea should be auctioned off, the Moscow-based Kommersant newspaper reported on February 17, despite private producer Lukoil asking last month to receive the permits without a tender.

Kobylkin made his recommendation in a letter to President Vladimir Putin dated February 11, Kommersant reported. Last month Lukoil CEO Vagit Alekperov also wrote to Putin, requesting that his company receive exploration rights to the Tyuleniy-1, Tyuleniy-2 and Tyuleniy-3 blocks without a competition. Lukoil needs extra resources to underpin its growth plans, he said.

Lukoil is the only active oil and gas producer in the Russian zone of the Caspian. It is preparing to bring its third project in the region into production, Grayfer, at the end of 2022, Alekperov told reporters on February 13. 

The company's remaining, undeveloped fields in the Russian Caspian – Khvalynskoye, 170-km, Kuvykin and Tsentralnoye - mostly contain gas. Khvalynskoye and Tsentralnoye straddle the median line demarcating the sea's Russian and Kazakh zones.

Lukoil also works at other exploration projects off the coast of Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, and on February 5 Alekperov met with Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov to discuss opportunities in Turkmenistan's Caspian zone.