A descendant of the famous Rockefeller family, Stephen Clark Rockefeller may get oil fields in Russia. The Kommersant daily learnt that his Rockefeller Oil Company has reached an agreement with VTB on the purchase of a 100-percent stake in Tekhneftinvest, which owns seven blocks with the total reserves of 180 million tonnes of oil and 20 billion cubic metres of natural gas. Production is already underway on some fields. The transaction value will be about 1 billion US dollars.
Analysts consider this a market price, but are surprised that the assets have not evoked an interested in any of the Russian oil producers.
This is not the first attempt of Rockefeller to get a foothold in the Russian oil and gas business, the newspaper recalls. In 2012, his Fund BESS wanted to buy from VTB Capital and Alrosa a 51-percent stake in CJSC Geotransgaz and a share in the Urengoi Gas Company for 612 million US dollars, but the deal has never been closed, and Alrosa decided to develop the gas reserves independently. This time, the publication’s sources say, “everything is all right,” and the project will be more successful.
Vitaly Kryukov of IFD Kapital notes that the price of Tatneftinvest’s reserves of 0.78 US dollars per barrel is “within the market limit.” According to him, there are quite many such small companies in the market. But their purchase entails some risks, because the reserves and the wells’ flow rate could prove to be significantly less than predicted.
He cites as an example Ruspetro, which conducted IPO, but failed to reach the promised production rate, as well as Imperial Energy, which was bought by India’s ONGC. The analyst is certain that VTB has offered the non-core asset to all the major oil companies that have deposits in the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Area and in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area - major oil production centres. “Therefore, it is alarming that none of the Russian oil producers, despite the attractiveness of the region and good reserves, is interested in Tekhneftinvest,” Kryukov said.
Russia’s largest oil companies on Wednesday could not specify if they had taken an interest in Tekhneftinvest. At the same time, the analyst adds, if the parameters of the fields turn out to be higher than the predicted or if new fields are discovered at the blocks, the investment may be successful.