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Gazprom To Get Operating License On Sakhalin

It says that Gazprom can make it through Sibneft which is negotiating with TNK-BP

Gazprom, which earlier declared its interest in oil and gas production on the Sakhalin shelf, may soon obtain first operating licenses in the region, Russian business daily Kommersant reported.

the purchase of TNK Sakhalin, the holder of the geological exploration license for the Lopukhovksy ground.

Sibneft is negotiating with TNK-BP to acquire TNK Sakhalin, operator of the Lopukhovsky ground of the Sakhalin shelf. TNK-BP explained their willingness to sell the company by a need to review their assets but would not comment on details of the deal. Gazprom, owner of 75.6 percent in Sibneft, refrain from comments yesterday.

Probable reserves of the Lopukhovsky ground are estimated at 130 million metric tons of oil and 500 billion cu. meters of gas. TNK-BP obtained a 5-year exploration license in 2002 and was set to put $60 million into the project and later attract foreign investors to boost the sum to $4 billion if it obtained a commercial license. Informed sources of Kommersant state that TNK-BP decides to sell TNK Sakhalin after ?officials made a broad hint that BP?s chances to get a commercial license are outside?. Gazprom as a state-controlled company will not have these problems, the source claims.