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Gas development on Taimyr may be limited to licensed LNG production

MOSCOW, February 13. /TASS/. Russia’s Ministry of Natural Resources may introduce additions conditions for obtaining licenses on the Taimyr Peninsula and in the Yamalo-Nenets Region, the ministry’s spokesman Nikolai Gudkov told TASS on Tuesday.

RBC daily earlier wrote referring to a letter from Minister of Natural Resources and Ecology Sergei Donskoi to Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich, in which the ministry suggested issuing gas fields’ licenses in the Arctic only for production of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

"We do not comment on the letter, but we consider development of LNG project a strategic direction in development of Russia’s Arctic zone," Gudkov said. "We have presented this position at different platforms."

"At the same time, certain conditions in tenders may refer, first of all the sites on Taimyr and in the Yamalo-Nenets Region, not in the entire Arctic zone," he explained. "Anyway, decisions would be in governmental orders about auctions or competitions."

The current legislation leaves an option of additional investment requirements to exploiters of natural resources "in order to provide for meeting strategic objectives," he added.

Novatek develops Gydan

In the past year, the authorities introduced additional conditions for participants in auctions for a few fields on the Gydan Peninsula in the Yamalo-Nenets Region. At that time, participants were to be owners of licenses on gas production in Yamal and Gydan, as well as those who use the resource base for LNG production at existing and planned infrastructure facilities in the Region. Realistically, only Novatek, working on the Yamal LNG project, fitted the requirements, and later on won the competition.

Back then, Minister Sergei Donskoi said Yamal LNG’s development is of strategic importance for the country. Later on, deputy head of the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service, Rachik Petrosyan said in an interview with TASS the authority had not checked the auction terms as it had not received any claims. At the same time, he said special conditions cut the number of pretenders to one though they do not limit competition and are legal, as the mechanism solves the national tasks.