TNK-BP is planning to sell its stake in a huge Siberian gas field to state-run Rosneft for $700-900 million by the end of 2010, a Russian TNK-BP shareholder said on Tuesday.
TNK-BP, a highly lucrative 50-50 joint venture between the British major BP and four Russian billionaires, intends to sell its majority stake in the Kovykta gas condensate field in the Irkutsk region in eastern Siberia to Rosneftegaz, the principal shareholder in Russia's largest oil company Rosneft.
"We are discussing the issue with Rosneftegaz, and normal constructive work is under way," TNK-BP shareholder Viktor Vekselberg said.
He said the Russian government has already expressed its position on the issue. "No extreme measures will be taken because general tension must be eased."
Russian authorities have repeatedly registered the breach of the license terms by RUSIA Petroleum, the operator of the Kovykta gas field and a subsidiary of TNK-BP, and warned of the possibility of license revocation.
Under the terms of the license agreement, TNK-BP is required to produce 9 billion cubic meters of gas annually in contrast to its actual output of several million cubic meters.
Natural Resources Minister Yury Trutnev earlier announced that "the license agreements were not fulfilled in the past and are not being fulfilled at present."
The Kovykta gas condensate field has estimated reserves of over 2 trillion cubic meters of natural gas, and also contains 2.3 billion cubic meters of helium and 115 million metric tons of gas condensate.
KHANTY-MANSIISK, March 23 (RIA Novosti)