15 Oct 2009 14:38

Regulator clears Total, NOVATEK for Termokarstovoye field deal

MURMANSK. Oct 15 (Interfax) - Total has received clearance from the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) to acquire a stake in the Termokarstovoye field from NOVATEK , Pierre Nergararyan told journalists.

The FAS has approved the deal, he said.

Nergararyan would only say that the acquisition is in the concluding stages. He would not specify the closing date, saying that scheduling decisions would be made together with NOVATEK.

At the end of June 2009, Total agreed the main principles for acquisition of a 49% stake in the NOVATEK subsidiary that holds the license to Termokarstovoye, Terneftegaz LLC. The field is located in Yamalo-Nenets autonomous district 250 kilometers southeast of Tarko-Sale, where NOVATEK has a facility for processing its production.

NOVATEK will retain a 51% stake in the project. Proven reserves at Termokarstovoye total 24.648 billion cubic meters of gas and 4.627 million tonnes of gas condensate.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has spoken in favor of Total's entry into the project. "It's a good project, a big one. Investment, I believe, is about $1 billion," Putin said at a meeting with the heads of Total and NOVATEK, Christophe de Margere and Leonid Mikhelson. "The very fact that we are meeting says that we will of course support such projects," Putin said.