Thursday, September 7, 2006. Issue 3492. Page 5.
The Natural Resources Ministry has told ExxonMobil it will not automatically enlarge the license territory of Exxon’s Sakhalin-1 oil and gas block, despite the discovery of new reserves near or at existing deposits.
The ministry said its representatives had told the U.S. oil major, developing the field under a decade-old production-sharing agreement, that they would auction the newly discovered deposits.
The move follows weeks of unprecedented pressure by Moscow on the rival Sakhalin-2, led by Royal Dutch Shell, culminating Tuesday when the country’s environment watchdog said it had asked a court to recognize the agreement did not comply with ecological rules.