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Friday, February 27, 2009

Chevron Quits Fields In Siberia

26 February 2009 - The Moscow Times by Anatoly Medetsky - U.S. oil major Chevron pulled out of a joint venture with Gazprom Neft after disappointing finds at the two Siberian fields they explored, a spokesman for the Russian company said Wednesday. Chevron's office in Moscow confirmed the previously undisclosed decision, saying it left Northern Taiga Neftegaz in August. Gazprom Neft is now the venture's sole owner. The partners, which set up the venture in 2006, said in June that they had suspended work on the fields because their reserves did not meet expectations. The venture, in which Chevron had 25 percent, explored the Pyakutinsky and Aikhettinsky fields, originally thought to have at least 45 million tons of oil. The California-based company is still looking to explore in Russia, with or without Gazprom Neft, said its Russian unit, Chevron Neftegaz. "Chevron expects to find interesting joint projects in the future," it said. "Gazprom Neft is also interested in developing partnerships with different companies, including Chevron." Alexei Kokin, oil analyst at Metropol, said Gazprom Neft apparently had no more fields that it wanted to contribute to the partnership, given that it has another joint venture with LUKoil. Gazprom Neft can explore its other fields and cover the investment on its own thanks to a weaker ruble and a fall in costs for labor and building materials, he said.

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