The authorities have frozen the issuance of licenses for gas extraction in Yamal

Got a reprieve

Of licensing plans for “mid-term” excluded gas and condensate field located on the Yamal and Gydan. This is stated in the letter from the Deputy Minister of natural resources Svetlana Radchenko sent to the energy Ministry in mid-January (has a copy). It also follows that the decision has already been agreed with the government and President Vladimir Putin. General resource base of the frozen sections is 2.9 trillion cubic meters of gas (C3+D). Licenses for these areas decided to leave in the undistributed Fund of mineral resources as a promising resource base controlled by the NOVATEK project “Yamal LNG”.

The solution will require adjustments to the General scheme of gas industry development up to 2035, the letter said Radchenko. The representative of the Ministry of energy confirmed its receipt and plans to freeze areas on the Yamal and Gyda peninsulas, but did not elaborate on what month it is.

Asking them not to sell licenses for new deposits in the region to the Minister of natural resources Sergey Donskoy in may 2014 addressed the Chairman of the Board of NOVATEK Leonid Mikhelson (copy of his letter has). He explained that new sites will be needed in the future to increase production of liquefied natural gas (LNG). Just on the basis of Unallocated deposits in Central and South-Eastern parts of the Yamal and Western Gydan will be possible to build four to five plants for the liquefaction of natural gas with a total capacity of 95 million tonnes per year and reserves of the Kara shelf (about 8 trillion cubic meters) can be used for the construction of floating LNG plants in the Arctic, wrote to Michelson.

To distribute these depths is impractical now because of low commodity prices and overall adverse economic conditions, says a source in NOVATEK. According to him, the company is not ready now to buy and develop sites with such a volume of prospective resources is too large investments in exploration. The size of the required investment he did not disclose, but noted that during the crisis, the costs of such projects are optimized in the first place.

The case may be, not only in crisis in the summer of 2014, after the annexation of Crimea to Russia, NOVATEK has got in the sanctions list of the USA. The company, in particular, it is forbidden to raise funding in dollars for a period of more than 90 days in American counterparties.

The first plant on the Yamal Peninsula

In the framework of the project “Yamal LNG” is planned to build three lines of the plant by 5.5 million tonnes of LNG per year each. The resource base for the project of South-Tambeyskoye field on the Yamal Peninsula, NOVATEK. Its proven and probable gas reserves amount to 927 billion cubic meters, the volume of investments was estimated at 1.27 trillion rubles should First be commissioned in 2017. Yamal LNG is one of the few oil and gas projects that received funding from the national welfare Fund for a total amount of 150 billion rubles After the deal with the Chinese Fund “silk road” (SRF) structure of shareholders of “Yamal LNG” will look like this: NOVATEK (50.1 per cent), Total (20%), CNPC (20%), SRF (9.9 per cent).

In 2014, Michelson was offered to play license Giganskoe, Soletski-Khanawake, West Sechinskie, Verkhnetulomskoe and Storm deposits with explored reserves of 589 billion cubic meters of gas, as well as Bugarinsky, East Aviski, Mamontov, North-gydansky and Arachidi areas with probable reserves of 2.9 trillion cubic meters, Both groups of fields decided to leave in the undistributed Fund is to changes in the economic environment, said a source in Rosnedra. The government instructions referred to by the Deputy Minister of natural resources Svetlana Radchenko, dated February 26 2015. But an official from the Ministry said that gas fields on the Yamal Peninsula and Gidani not on the list scheduled for sale at competitions or auctions in 2016.

To exclude competitors

During the crisis, oil and gas companies began to actively seek transfers spelled out in the license terms of field development, and the demand for new sites has fallen dramatically. In December 2015, the Minister of natural resources Sergey Donskoy said that last year the dates were adjusted to 580 oil fields for exploration and production of oil and gas. And by the end of 2015 held only 44% of the announced auctions for the sale of new licenses.

The postponement is a good decision, says a source in NOVATEK: now it is impossible to judge the future demand for LNG. The development of resources in the Yamal Peninsula and Gudene will be promising in the case of growth in oil prices, and while the company would not want the competition for new areas in the region, he explains.

Potentially competition NOVATEK could create “Gazprom” or “Rosneft”, said the Deputy Director General of national energy security Fund Alexei Grivach. But now they are unlikely to be interested in the sale of new plots — Gazprom has now a surplus of gas on the Yamal Peninsula, and Rosneft plans to build an LNG plant on Sakhalin, and in terms of sanctions the state company hardly will now start a second major project, he explains.

“Rosneft” is interested in the fields Gidani, source says the company. But now the most sensible thing is to leave these licenses are in the undistributed Fund, he said. A source in Gazprom confirmed that the company has enough gas on the Yamal Peninsula. Representatives of both companies on the request is not answered.

In the exploration of gas resources on the Yamal Peninsula and Gidani would have to invest billions of dollars, at least $10 million for the drilling of each exploration well excluding the purchase and importation of equipment on the Peninsula, assesses the Dean of geological Department, Gubkin Russian state University of oil and gas. Gubkin Alexander Lobusev. Investments in exploration of resources that may significantly exceed the price of the license, agrees the analyst of Gazprombank Alexander Nazarov. Development of Yuzhno-Tambeyskoye field with proven resources demanded investments in the amount of more than $10 billion, resembles it (a controlling stake in the project “Yamal LNG” NOVATEK cost of $650 million).

The representative of NOVATEK did not respond to a request.