22 Jun 2009 15:12

Gazprom Neft may return license to offshore Lopukhovsky block

MOSCOW. June 22 (Interfax) - Gazprom Neft may return the license to the Lopukhovsky block in the Sea of Okhotsk to subsurface resource use agency Rosnedra.

"We are examining the possibility of returning the license to the Lopukhovsky block," Gazprom Neft President Alexander Dyukov said.

Gazprom Neft made proposals to several companies on joint operations at the Lopukhovsky block, but all declined.

The Lopukhovsky block covers 3,500 square kilometers. The forecast reserve is for up to 100 million tonnes of fuel equivalent. The license to exploration of the block expired in May 2007. Gazprom Neft later won a three-year extension to that deadline, to 2010.

Gazprom Neft has said that development of the block will require technologies the company does not have. Gazprom Neft has made proposals to Chevron, StatoilHydro, Eni, Petro-Canada and a number of other companies on joint work at Lopukhovsky, but none accepted.