Russian authorities have announced plans auction five hydrocarbon blocks in West Siberia’s Yamal-Nenets region that are expected to contain mostly gas resources.

According to state subsurface agency Rosnedra, auctions for 25-year exploration and development licences for the five tracts will be held on 25 February.

The acreage on offer includes the Tambeysky block on the Yamal Peninsula, a tract that borders six other blocks, four of which are already licenced to subsidiaries of state-controlled gas monopoly Gazprom and two others controlled by affiliates of Novatek, the country’s largest independent gas producer.

Both Gazprom and Novatek are expected to have a strong interest in expanding their portfolio on Yamal to help boost their aims to produce natural gas feedstock for liquefied natural gas exports.

According to Rosnedra, the Tambeysky block covers around 2200 square kilometres and holds estimated possible in-place resources of about 300 billion cubic metres of gas, based on initial 2D seismic data.

The agency added that an exploration well was drilled to a depth of 3300 metres, but failed to hit commercial volumes.

Another Yamal Peninsula block, Tarminsky, is also expected to attract strong interest from Gazprom and Novatek.

The Tarminsky tract covers around 2000 square kilometres and lies adjacent to the Malyginsky block being developed by Gazprom in partnership with Russian player RusGazDobycha, and the Syadorsky block licenced to Novatek subsidiary Yukharovneftegaz.

Four previous exploration wells at Tarminsky did not hit productive payzones, but Rosnedra has used the additional data to estimate possible in-place resources at 293 billion cubic metres of gas.

A third Yamal block featuring in the auctions, Kharatsky, lies in the southwest of the peninsula along the shore of the Kara Sea, adjacent to the Kharasaveyskoye and Kruzenshternskoye gas fields that Gazprom plans to bring on stream before 2030.

This area also hosts several other Gazprom assets, including its flagship onshore development on the peninsula, Bovanenkovo.

Another large block on offer, Svetlogorsky-1, spans 3200 square kilometres and lies in the Yamal-Nenets region’s Krasnoselkup district — a prospective gas development area hundreds kilometres away from the Yamal Peninsula.

Svetlogorsky-1 lies adjacent to two large blocks licenced to state-controlled oil producer Gazprom Neft and a subsidiary of oil producer Rosneft, according to Rosnedra.

Svetlogorsky-1 is expected to require an extensive exploration effort in order to confirm any commercial hydrocarbon reserves, as none of the four wildcats spudded in during the Soviet era were successful.

The smallest of the five tracts to be offered is the 370 square-kilometre Novy block in the Purovsky district of Yamal-Nenets.

The block hosts the minor Navoye oil discovery and is surrounded by acreage licenced to a Gazprom Neft regional subsidiary and oil producer Surgutneftegaz.

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