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UpstreamOnline: Russia loses patience over Kovykta

UpstreamOnline Photo of President Putin

(Fed up: Putin said Russia has lost patience with BP and others over Kovykta field)

By Upstream staff

Russia has run out of patience with Russian billionaires and oil major BP over their repeated delays in bringing the giant Kovykta gas field on stream, President Vladimir Putin said today.

“I would like to stress that the field has reserves of 3 trillion cubic metres. To understand its importance for our country it is equal to almost all reserves of Canada,” Putin said in an interview.

“If the members of the consortium are doing nothing to meet licence obligations, how much longer do we have to tolerate this?” Putin told Western reporters ahead of the G8 summit in Germany.

On Friday, Russia’s resources ministry put off a decision on stripping BP’s Russian venture TNK-BP of its Kovykta licence by two weeks.

Many industry analysts said the delay would allow the country to sail peacefully through the G8 summit and avoid upsets at its landmark economic forum in St Petersburg, Reuters said.

Analysts still expect TNK-BP to lose the licence later this year or cede control in Kovykta to gas export monopoly Gazprom at a bargain price.

The protracted battle for the $20-billion Kovykta is seen by many analysts as part of a Kremlin drive to consolidate major energy resources under state control.

TNK-BP had hoped to use the field for gas exports to China but was forced to trim production to cover only local needs after Gazprom banned the plan as it has its own rival project to supply China.

http://www.upstreamonline.com/incoming/article134727.ece
 

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