The head of NOVATEK Leonid Mikhelson has officially recognized that NOVATEK carries on negotiations on purchase “Gazprom” the four deposits on the Yamal Peninsula with reserves of 2.65 trillion cubic metres of gas to expand the resource base of its project for liquefied natural gas, Yamal LNG.
“We are negotiating with Gazprom at the Tambeyskoye areas [in Yamal], there are opportunities for other assets that may be Central to our strategy,” said Michelson in an interview with Interfax published Thursday, January 19. According to him, while “some deadlines no”, but “clarity on these issues will appear within months, not years” — probably in the first half of 2017. Therefore, the company decided not to hurry with the presentation to the investors of a new development strategy until the end of negotiations with “Gazprom”.
NOVATEK offered to exchange up to 3% of its shares worth $1.2 billion on four deposits “Gazprom” (on Severo-Tambeyskoye, Zapadno-Tambeyskoye, Malyginskoe and Taseski license areas) on the Yamal Peninsula, which would increase the stock of “Yamal LNG” three times — up to 3.9 trillion cubic meters of gas in December 2016. “We spent time on “Yamal LNG” and “Arctic LNG 2″, and we need to see the future of the next projects. And we make a decision on the construction of the Kola shipyards, production platforms, where there will be LNG plants, of course, given the fact that the resource base for these projects will be expanded,” — said on Thursday Michelson. Possible exchange these licenses for the Yamal fields in the shares of the company’s and sale them for money, he added.
A conservative approach
According to Mikhelson, NOVATEK has budgeted for 2017 oil price of $45 per barrel (on Thursday, Brent crude was worth on the stock exchange ICE $54,11 per barrel), and for 2018 is $50. “We try to be as conservative, although the agreement of Russia with OPEC to reduce oil production show a more optimistic scenario of oil prices in 2017,” he said in an interview to “Interfax”. Mikhelson added that the company’s budget for the year 2017 calculated based on the rate of 68 rubles per dollar (on Thursday on the Moscow stock exchange it cost 59,74 rubles. on 21:30 GMT).
In October 2016, the head of NOVATEK appealed to President Vladimir Putin, asking to ensure the adoption of “the necessary corporate decisions” for renewal of licenses of “Gazprom” on a separate legal entity for its subsequent sale to NOVATEK. It followed a letter from the Minister of energy Alexander Novak on the name of Putin (a copy). However, the energy Ministry has not yet formulated its position on this transaction.
Representatives of “Gazprom” on Thursday have also confirmed the interest of individuals to these fields. “Indeed, such a proposal NOVATEK last year we received”, — said Deputy head of the Department of gas, gas condensate and oil of Gazprom Alexander Kalinkin during the conference call devoted to the publication of the report for the first nine months of 2016. “While internal development of these proposals, including risk assessment, is not finished. Accordingly, specific negotiations with the company we keep” — he warned.
In 2012, Gazprom and NOVATEK have discussed the possibility of creating a joint enterprise on the basis of the resource base of the three deposits of Yamal “Gazprom” (Severo-Tambeyskoye, Zapadno-Tambeyskoye and Tsiskara) — then it was planned that “Gazprom” will be in SP 75%, NOVATEK — 25%. But then the negotiations have not progressed much.