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Gazprom opens pipeline access for Rospan gas fields

Anglo-Russian TNK-BP has at last procured access to the Gazprom-controlled pipeline system for the joint venture’s West Siberian gas fields, where production has been limited for several years due to the lack of agreements with the Russian gas monopoly, Gazprom’s press service confirmed.

The two companies last week agreed on „technical conditions” for a pipeline that TNK-BP will build from its Rospan project in the Yamal-Nenets autonomous district to link it with the national trunk gas pipeline system, controlled by gas monopoly Gazprom. The details of the agreements have not been made public. TNK-BP declined to comment. TNK-BP vice president Alexander Berezikov said in November that the company planned to start construction of the pipeline in 2009 so it could raise gas output to 9 billion cubic meter/year by 2012 and further to 16 billion cubic meter/year by 2014. Rospan is currently facing limited gas production due to the absence of of a gas transportation system.

TNK-BP has said it needed agreements with Gazprom on the pipeline in order to start full-scale gas production at Rospan. In 2007, it produced 1.6 billion cubic meters of gas, down from 3.1 billion cubic meter in 2006 and 1.8 billion cubic meter in 2006, as the company has to negotiate annual allocation quotas with Gazprom, which currently takes Rospan gas using the local infrastructure of its neighboring fields. Rospan is the only gas project TNK-BP has left after it lost one of its most lucrative assets, the giant Kovykta gas field in East Siberia, to Gazprom last year. The deal is expected to be closed in the Q1 of this year.

Rospan, a 100% subsidiary of TNK-BP, develops deep horizons at the Vostochno-Urengoyskoye and Novo-Urengoyskoye fields in the Yamal-Nenets autonomous region in northern Russia. Rospan could be included in a planned joint venture between Gazprom, BP and TNK-BP in order for the latter to get an option to return to Kovykta with a 25% stake. According to agreements reached in June 2007, for the new joint venture to be formed, it must include assets worth at least $3 billion, with Gazprom and TNK-BP both saying Rospan might be among them. (Oil & Gas Eurasia)