Russia's Novatek is set to closing in on another large exploration block on the Gydan Peninsula in the Yamal-Nenets region in West Siberia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has reportedly approved a recent request from the gas independent's chairman Leonid Mikhelson and instructed the country’s Ministry of Natural Resources to prepare an auction for the North Gydansky block, according to Moscow business daily Kommersant.

Though the auction is set to be technically open to all Russian companies, just Novatek and its subsidiaries are expected to be approved for bidding, as authorities will most likely include a prerequisite that bidders should already have liquefied natural gas facilities in the Yamal-Nenets region.