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Union in Turkmenistan
Is being created by Rosneft, Itera and Zarubejneft

Itera and "Rosneft" (Russian Oil) again discussed the opportunity for joint development of oil and gas outside Russia. Along with Zarubejneft (Foreign oil) company they created a new enterprise, which will develop field in Turkmenistan.

According to the program approved by the Turkmen government on geological survey until 2010 the local and foreign investors must receive 32 licenses for geological survey of shelf fields and 15 licenses - for exploration of oil and gas onshore territories. Itera, Rosneft and Zarubejneft come to conclusion to take part in exploration of Turkmen depths. For doing it they have registered in Moscow a ZarIT jsc. Rosneft and Itera, taking part in this project via the subsidiary structure of GasCheminvest, received 37% of shares in jsc, the rest 26% were given to Zarubejneft.

The representatives of the company - participants of the project thinks that one can speak about certain fields and the size of investments later. It is up to the Turkmen government to fix which oil and gas bearing territories will JSC get. After ZarIT gets license, the companies shareholders will start negotiations on transferring these fields on production sharing terms.

The matter is in blocs on the Caspian shelf and some of projects on the right bank of Amudaria - representative of Zarbuezhneft explained to Vedomosti daily. We have serious hopes in Turkmenistan, however, we understands that we will need huge financial resources for exploration and development of fields. According to experts under the prognoses there are about 16.5 billion tons of fuel Turkmen shelf, exploration reserves of the shelf are 203 million tons and 70 billion cubic meters of gas. The Turkmen shelf are under the development of Anglo-Arab Dragon Oil company, Malaysian Petronas and Dutch Maersk.

Itera and Rosneft earlier have already tried to create joint venture on production of oil and gas outside Russia. In 2001 along with US First International Oil Company (FIOC) they planned to develop Fedorovsk gas field in Kazakhstan. But as a result they refused, and now this block is developed by Yukos. "In case of Fedorovsk field, there were some terms that did not meet our demands, therefore we changed out minds," representative of Itera told. "We hope that this project will be more successful. Zarubezhneft and Rosneft have huge experience in implementation of large foreign projects, while Itera has well shaped marketing channels and sales markets." Representative of Itera did not exclude that the gas which will be extracted in the future by the companies on the Turkmen shelf will be used for export to CIS markets.

The Vice President of Rosneft Sergey Oganessian is also optimistic. "Of course shelf fields demand more investments on risk terms. But our company has everything necessary - and financial, and technical opportunities, there is offshore operation experience," top manager of Rosneft told journalists in Ashkhabad. We will do our best to reach success together. "This country has huge reserves of oil and gas, Valeriy Nesterov from Toryka Dialogue said," while with Itera Ashkhabad has good relations. In particular, recently Itera was allowed by Turkmenbashi to export to Ukraine 46 billion cubic meters of Turkmen gas in 2003.
Vedomosti daily

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By Irina Reznik

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