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BP Unit expects to agree with Gazprom, revive Siberia gas field

BP Plc's Russia venture expects to reach an accord with OAO Gazprom that would revive a stalled $18 billion project to develop a natural-gas field in Siberia.

OAO TNK-BP faces losing its license to develop Kovykta for failing to meet the permit's terms as it negotiates a partnership with OAO Gazprom, Russia's gas export monopoly. Gazprom has withheld approval of TNK-BP's plan to build a pipeline from the eastern Siberian field to China to make the project economically viable.
„I think there will be a lot of headlines, lots of disturbing signs, but if you put all that aside, it is going to be something that I think you will get clear direction on in the next six months,” TNK-BP CEO Robert Dudley said today at the World Economic Forum in Davos. „And I think we will be working with Gazprom on that project for many years to come.”
TNK-BP will produce about 1.8 million barrels a day of oil this year and next, before output advances again in 2009, Dudley said. TNK-BP is Russia's third-largest oil producer after it sold its OAO Udmurtneft unit to state-run OAO Rosneft and China's Sinopec in August. Dudley said he sees no sign the Russian partners who own half of TNK-BP are looking to sell their stakes as Russian media, including Vedomosti newspaper, have reported. BP Plc owns the other half of the venture. (Bloomberg)