Russia Ready to Sell Arctic Oil Fields

March 18, 2010
The Russian state is preparing for the sale of the Trebs and Titov oil fields in the Nenets Autonomous Okrug, BarentsObserver reports. Oil companies have long awaited a decision on the fields, which have a total of more than 200 million tons of reserves.

The Russian Ministry of Natural Resources will prepare all necessary documentation for the sale of the fields by late March of early April this year, according to the newspaper Kommersant. The two attractive fields will be sold in tenders, not in auctions, and the companies Lukoil, Rosneft and Gazprom Neft are all expected to fight hard for the licenses.

The Trebs and Titov fields, which hold more than 200 million tons of reserves, are among the biggest untouched oil fields in continental Russia. The fields contain respectively 78.12 and 132.8 million tons of oil. They are the first fields of socalled “strategic importance” announced for sale after federal legislation on mineral resources was amended in 2008. According to the legislation, it is now the government, and not the Agency of Mineral Resouces (Rosnedra), which is responsible for the sale of strategic assets. An oil field has strategic importance if it contains more than 70 million tons of oil.

Both Lukoil and Rosneft are from before heavily engaged in the oil-rich Timan Pechora province. As reported by BarentsObserver, Lukoil in 2008 started production at its new South-Khilchuyu field, after one of the biggest field investments in Russia the last decade.

Analyst Valery Nesterov from the Troika Dialog company told Kommersant that no foreign oil companies are expected to take part in the tender.

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