26 Mar 2010 11:47

Gazprombank, Credit Agricole to help NOVATEK select Yamal liquefied gas partners

MOSCOW. March 26 (Interfax) - NOVATEK has brought Gazprombank and Credit Agricole CIB on board as consultants in the selection of foreign partners for the Yamal LNG (liquefied natural gas) project, a NOVATEK spokesman told Interfax.

NOVATEK has already received indicative project proposals from a number of Western companies, he said. The company plans to determine who its partners will be before the end of the year.

Initial projects are that gas extraction and LNG production at the Yuzhno-Tambeiskoye deposits under Yamal LNG could begin in 2016, the company spokesman said.

In May of last year, NOVATEK struck a deal to buy 51% of the stock in Yamal LNG from oil trader Gunvor's owner Gennady Timchenko for $650 million. Yamal LNG holds the license to the Yuzhno-Tambeiskoye deposits, which has C1+C2 (Russian classification) reserves of 1.26 trillion cubic meters of gas and 51.6 million tonnes of gas condensate.

The company also secured a three-year option on another 23.9% of shares, which it plans to use to attract partners into the project.

Gazprombank holds the blocking stake in Yamal LNG. However, a governmental foreign-investment oversight commission approved the purchase of the blocking interest in the project by structures associated with Pyotr Kolbin, co-owner with Timchenko of the trader Surgutex.