Gazprom wins control of Kovykta field: report

1st March 2011, Comments 0 comments

Natural gas giant Gazprom on Tuesday won an auction for one of Siberia's largest deposits that Russia hopes to use to expand its energy exports to China.

Gazprom won control of the eastern Siberian Kovykta field for slightly more than 15 billion rubles ($520 million, 375 million euros), RIA Novosti quoted a top energy executive involved in the deal as saying.

The stake had been controlled by RUSIA Petrolium, a unit of the Anglo-Russian TNK-BP joint venture, which filed for bankruptcy in June.

RUSIA Petrolium acting Executive Director Alexander Smetanin said the purchase price would be disclosed on Wednesday.

"The auction is over and Gazprom won," Interfax quoted Smetanin as saying.

Gazprom outbid Vostokgazinvest, a subsidiary of the Rosneftegaz energy company, which holds the Russian government's stake in the country's largest oil producer Rosneft.

Kovykta, located 450 kilometers (280 miles) northeast of the city of Irkutsk, contains an estimated 2.0 trillion cubic metres of natural gas and is considered a major potential supplier for energy-hungry China.

In 2007, TNK-BP agreed to sell Kovykta to Russian state-controlled gas giant Gazprom for around $1 billion in a deal seen as part of a Kremlin-backed campaign to tighten state control over energy assets.

But that deal never went through.

© 2011 AFP

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