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kommersant.com: Home Russia’s Natural Resources Supervisor Focuses on Kovykta

Jan. 18, 2007

Russia’s Federal Service for Supervising Natural Resources (Rosprirodnadzor) launched yesterday the probe into the execution of license agreement for development of Kovykta field, which is under TNK-BP’s control.

Yesterday, Russia’s Federal Service for Supervising Natural Resources (Rosprirodnadzor) committed its Irkutsk branch to initiate the check of Kovykta field, completing it by January 26, a source with Rosprirodnadzor said on condition of anonymity. The probe was ordered by the Federal Agency for Subsoil Use (Rosnedra). In TNK-BP, they said they have received no respective notification yet. The Federal Agency for Subsoil Use declined to comment officially.

The tricky point is the scheduled end of inspection. By January 26, TNK-BP will hardly be able to achieve the target annual production of 9 billion cu meters of gas, and its license could be revoked. The scenario for Kovykta will copy the one tested at Sakhalin-2, the analysts speculate, predicting that the claims of the supervising authorities will be eased once Russia’s gas monopoly, Gazprom, joins the project.

Kovykta field is one of the biggest in Russia, having gas reserves of 2.1 trillion cu meters. Its license holder is Rusia Petroleum, where TNK-BP owns 62.4 percent, Interros has 25.8 percent and Irkutsk Region owns 11.24 percent. The license was issued in early 1990s. Under it, deliveries from the field were to begin at the end of 2006, amounting to 9 billion cu meters on year. The negotiations of Gazprom and TNK-BP concerning Gazprom’s entry into the project are currently underway.

www.kommersant.com

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