Natural gas on the tundra. Illustration photo by Gazprom

Scramble for Yamal resources: Novatek puts its eyes on Gazprom's Tambey fields

Russia's two biggest natural gas producers both have big plans for the huge and far northern fields.
April 19, 2021

The Tambey fields are located in the northeastern part of peninsula Yamal and are considered among the biggest undeveloped natural gas resources in Russia. The development licenses were granted to Gazprom in 2008, but Leonid Mikhelson argues that they should be transferred to his Novatek.

Gazprom controls huge natural gas resouces in Yamal, including the Tambey fields in the northeastern part of the peninsula. Map by Gazprom

In a recent meeting with Vladimir Putin on the 13th April, the businessman is reported to have convinced the President that the Tambey resources should be developed as a LNG project and that Novatek is the best suited developer.

The Tambey fields are believed to hold up to 7,3 trillion cubic meters of natural gas, and would allow Novatek to significantly boost its resources base in the region. From before, Novatek operates the Yamal LNG project, and the Arctic LNG is due to come into production in 2023.

However, Gazprom is not interested in giving up its control over the resources, Kommersant reports.

The Tambey fields are believed to have been high on the agenda when Novatek leader Mikhelson on the 15th of April met with Gazprom’s Aleksei Miller.

Sources close to the companies told the newspaper that Novatek is offering Gazprom a combination of cash and company shares for the fields. But Gazprom still opposes a deal.

The state company intends to develop the Tambey fields as conventional pipeline project and connect them to the infrastructure of the nearby Bovanenkovo project. Novatek instead wants to use the Tambey resources for production of LNG.

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The two major companies have over several years discussed possible cooperation over project development and in 2017 Gazprom signaled that it might be open for the establishment of a joint venture.

According to Russia’s new government Program on Liquified Natural Gas, annual LNG production is to reach 140 million tons by 2035, an almost five-time increase compared with 2020. It could make the country a world leader in the field.

Practically all of the country’s planned projects are located in the remote Arctic, and first of all in the Yamal-Nenets region where more than 90 percent of the country’s total natural gas resources are located.

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