Rosneft to start Arctic gas production in 2012

By Oleysa Astakhova

GUBKINSKI, Russia (BestGrowthStock) – Russia’s largest state-owned oil firm, Rosneft (ROSN.MM: ), will start producing natural gas from its giant, Arctic Kharampurskoye deposit in 2012, a spokeswoman for Rosneft Purneftegaz said on Thursday.

“In 2012 we plan to start producing gas from Kharampurskoye because we plan to receive access to export gas then,” the spokeswoman told Reuters.

“We have gas, and it needs to go somewhere. There should be a transport from our deposits.”

The Kharampurskoye deposit is in Russia’s largest gas-producing region, Yamal Nenets, and holds almost 400 billion cubic meters (bcm) in reserves.

The development of its gas reserves is a key part of Rosneft’s growth plan. After launching production in 2012, it aims to grow natural gas output to 55 bcm by 2020 from around 13 bcm in 2009.

One of the biggest challenges, however, is striking a deal with Russia’s gas export monopoly, Gazprom (GAZP.MM: ), which has exclusive export rights on all Russian gas.

In September Russia’s top energy official, Igor Sechin, who is also Rosneft’s chairman, said the oil firm was interested in selling gas directly to China, a challenge to Gazprom’s export monopoly, and was working on the issue with the oil and gas behemoth.

(Reporting by Olesya Astakhova; Writing by Jessica Bachman; Editing by Andrey Ostroukh)

Rosneft to start Arctic gas production in 2012