Gazprom Gets Approval for Offshore Exploration Through 2030

Gazprom's Management Committee has approved major provisions of Gazprom's Program on the Russian Federation offshore hydrocarbon resources exploitation up to 2030.

Due business units were entrusted with further registering over 2005 to 2006 Gazprom's licenses for the Severo-Kamennomysskoye, Kamennomysskoye-Sea, Obskoye and Dolginskoye fields development.

The Management Committee issued a directive to secure Gazprom's participation between 2005 and 2006 in biddings for the licenses to exploit resources of the prospects located in the Ob and Taz Bays offshore.

In the first quarter of 2006, Gazprom's core business outlets together with VNIIGAZ Ltd and Gazflot Ltd will come up with and submit for approval paramount measures to be stepped from 2006 to 2010 for the organization of Gazprom's hydrocarbon exploration and production activities in the Russian Federation offshore.

The JSC Gazprom Program on the Russian Federation offshore hydrocarbon resources exploitation up to 2030 has been developed in compliance with the Management Committee's November 27, 2003 Directive on the Conception of Gazprom's operations on the Russian Federation continental shelf.

The Program topicality is highlighted by the need of building Gazprom's strategy for the exploitation of oil and gas resources of Russia's offshore being a major promising oil and gas production source.

The Program pursues the objective of underpinning the strategic directions of Russia's offshore hydrocarbon fields development. The initial total hydrocarbon resources of Russia's continental shelf average 100 billion tons of fuel equivalent, of which 80 percent is gas. The bulk of the reserves are concentrated in the Barents, Pechora and Kara Seas, with gas and condensate prevailing in the Barents and Kara, and oil, in the Pechora Sea.

The Arctic offshore is recommended by the Program as a sector of paramount study, resource base development and new oil & gas extraction provinces formation. Implementing a geological exploration program between 2005 and 2030 will help increase reserves by over 14 tcm of gas and 500 mln t of oil.

A prime development target in the Barents Sea, the Shtokman gas & condensate field is being prepared for operation with the account of the need to produce liquefied natural gas for marketing purposes on international markets.

Due to the substantial resource potential, onshore transmission infrastructure availability, small sea depths and distances to the shore, the Ob and Taz Bays fields were identified as top priority gas production areas in the Kara Sea.

The rate of returns on the Program implementation is expected to account for 17.2 percent.

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