The government’s fuel and energy commission will consider returning the license to develop the Trebs, Titov oilfields in the Arctic to a joint venture between the country’s largest private company LUKoil and mid-sized oil firm Bashneft, LUKoil head Vagit Alekperov said on Thursday.
“There is an instruction from the prime minister. It was studied at a meeting of the government commission for the fuel and energy sector and instructions were given to the government’s lawyers to work on this issue,” Alekperov said on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg international economic forum.
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 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 25.1 percent.
On May 18, however, the Russian Subsoil Agency rescinded its order to transfer the license to the Trebs and Titov oilfields to the joint venture. LUKoil said in late May it reserved the right to challenge the license revocation in a legislative procedure.
The media later reported the LUKoil and Bashneft heads appealed to Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to reopen the joint venture’s license to the oilfield