25 Nov 2022 12:14

Over 30 resource licenses due to be transferred from foreign to Russian entities - minister

MOSCOW. Nov 25 (Interfax) - Russia's law prohibiting the issue of subsurface resource development licenses to foreign companies requires that 32 licenses be transferred from foreign to Russian legal entities, Natural Resources Minister Alexander Kozlov said at a meeting of the inter-faction working group on resource use.

"We have transferred six licenses to Russian jurisdiction and the issue of transferring the seventh will be considered on December 1. In total, [federal subsurface resources agency] Rosnedra sent notices about the need to transfer foreign assets to Russian companies to 14 companies about 32 licenses. Nineteen of them are regional, [so] decisions on them are made by regions independently. The remaining six are under the jurisdiction of Rosnedra, but since applications from companies were not received on them and the deadline has passed, decisions on early termination will be made on them," Kozlov said.

Changes to the law on subsurface resources that prohibit the issue of resource development licenses to foreign companies went into effect on June 28. For previously issued licenses, in order to continue working on licensed properties foreign companies must set up legal entities in Russia and transfer the resource rights to them.

This measure is intended to ensure the uninterrupted operation of resource development projects in the event that foreign partners in joint projects are forced to cease business activities, the Natural Resources Ministry said earlier.

In November, in line with the provisions of this law, Rosnedra transferred six licenses for the Salym project owned by a joint venture between Gazprom Neft and Shell (SPB: RDS.A) from Netherlands-based Salym Petroleum Development N.V. to Russian firm Salym Petroleum Development LLC.