Russian Oil Companies Have Large Interest In Arctic Licenses

October 24, 2011
Russia’s biggest state oil and gas companies "Rosneft" and "Gazprom" have got new competitors when it comes to exploration of the continental shelf. The state program includes a list of companies applying for licenses.

According to the Ministry of Natural Resources "Gazprom" and "Rosneft" prior to 2030, will spend about $7,5 billion on exploration in the oil areas. This way "Gazprom" will increase its reserves up to 11 billion tons of fuel and "Rosneft" up to 4 billion tons, Kommersant reports.

“Rosneft” has applied to develop the “West Field Matveevskoe” in the Pechora Sea. Resources in this area are estimated at 10.1 million tons of oil equivalent. But "Gazprom Oil" is also interested in this field. Both companies also claim to the North part of the Chukchi and Wrangel Sea, whose resources are not known.

"Gazprom oil" will not only be competing for deposits with "Rosneft", but also with "Zarubezhneft" - they are both interested in the possibility of working in the Central Barents field (resources in this area are estimated at 1,9 -3,1 billion tons of oil equivalent). In this plan, "Zarubezhneft" is more specific: as stated in the document, the company has promised to hold a seismic survey and drill four wells.

"Zarubezhneft" has long sought the right to work on the shelf. The company announced its interest in developing fields in the Barents and Pechora Seas back in 2008. But the spring of 2008 changes to Russian law excluded "Zarubezhneft" from among the possible contenders to the shelf. By law, only companies that are controlled by the state and have at least five years of experience on the Russian shelf can receive licenses.

- "Gazprom oil", which continues to consolidate the oil business of "Gazprom" is to increase the production level to 2020 significantly - said Valery Nesterov from the investment company "Troika Dialog". "Rosneft" already have some licenses, so it is possible that the government will prefer "Gazprom Oil", - says the analyst.

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