Bashneft, LUKoil to Discuss New Trebs Titov Partnership

Two leading Russian crude producers, LUKoil and Bashneft, will discuss a new partnership to develop the giant Trebs and Titov oilfields in the Russian Arctic, Bashneft said in a Tuesday statement.

The news came after the federal mineral resources watchdog, on May 18, withdrew the license of the existing Bashneft-LUKoil joint venture, formed late last year to develop jointly the fields.

“Bashneft and LUKoil will discuss possibilities of further cooperation on the project with due consideration of our willingness to implement the Trebs and Titov project most efficiently in the interests of all the sides concerned,” the statement said.

Bashneft acquired the license to the Trebs and Titov oilfields, which have oil reserves estimated at 140 million tons, in a 2010 tender. The oilfields also contained suspended LUKoil exploration wells and a pipeline.

In December 2011, Bashneft and LUKoil agreed to set up a joint venture, Bashneft-Polyus, to develop the reserves, and Bashneft passed over its license to the newly formed company. LUKoil paid 4.8 billion rubles for its share of 25.1%.

But in March, parliamentarian Sergei Karginov questioned the legality of Bashneft’s license tender. A few days later, a minority shareholder in Bashneft, Svetlana Proskuryakova, who was then joined by another minority shareholder, went to court to question the transfer of the Trebs license to the Bashneft-Polyus joint venture.

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