Rosnedra returns license for Astrakhanskoye field to Astrakhan Oil and Gas Company
MOSCOW. Sept 29 (Interfax) - Russia's subsurface resources agency Rosnedra has returned a license for the Pravoberezhnaya section of the Astrakhanskoye gas condensate field to Astrakhan Oil and Gas Company, the agency said.
The order on the return of the field was signed on September 1.
Rosnedra recalled the license for the Pravoberezhnaya section of the Astrakhanskoye field on January 26, 2009 due to violations of the license agreement by Astrakhan Oil and Gas Company.
It was reported in November 2008 that Gazprombank had acquired a 75% stake in Astrakhan Oil and Gas Company. The remaining interest belongs to the Astrakhan regional administration.
After purchasing the 75% stake, Gazprombank began holding talks with foreign companies, including Shell, Total and SNC-Lavalin, to draw up options for developing this field, which is unique because of its high hydrogen sulfide content.
OJSC Astrakhan Oil and Gas Company was set up in 2000 and received a license during the same year to develop the Pravoberezhnaya section of the Astrakhanskoye gas condensate field, which covers an area of 655 square kilometers. The field has estimated reserves of 220 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas and about 20 million tonnes of oil.
The Astrakhan region expects a gas refinery to be built at the field. The plant would be capable of refining up to 6 bcm of gas per year. The cost of the plant is estimated at more than $1.2 billion.