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Total moves to develop Russian arctic gas

June 25, 2009 at 9:37 AM

MOSCOW, June 25 (UPI) -- Supermajor Total moved to acquire a minority stake in Terneftegas, a subsidiary of Russia's second-largest gas producer, Novatek, for arctic gas exploration.

Total announced it had signed an agreement with Novatek to acquire a 49 percent stake in Terneftegas, a Novatek subsidiary active in gas fields in the Russian arctic.

"Total is very pleased to become Novatek's partner in the Russia arctic region, which presents exciting development and production opportunities," said Christophe de Margerie, chief executive officer of Total. "This agreement with Novatek consolidates the strategy that Total aims to implement in the Russian gas sector."

Terneftegas holds a development and production license for the onshore Termokarstovoye field, which holds more than 16.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves.

Novatek and Total will conduct preliminary studies on the field with the goal of launching development in 2011.

Total operates additional fields in north-central Russia and has a strong relationship with Russian energy monopoly Gazprom.

The Terneftegas requires approval from the Russian Federal Anti-monopoly Service before closing. Novatek would remain as the majority shareholder.

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