Russian state subsurface agency Rosnedra has announced auctions for three oil and gas blocks in the Yamal-Nenets region in West Siberia, hoping for high interest from major local players Novatek, Rosneft and Gazprom.

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A core asset in the offering is the North Kustarnikovy block, which extends over 3700 square kilometres and is located to the south of the Gydan Peninsula on the shore of the Taz Bay.

The block already hosts the Tota-Yakhinskoye gas field that has been explored previously by Gazprom subsidiary Gazprom Nedra.

According to Rosnedra, the North Kustarnikovy block has joint borders with several tracts that are either explored or already being developed by regional subsidiaries of Gazprom and Rosneft.

Among those tracts is the Minkhovsky gas block that Rosneft bought in 2014 in its drive to establish its foothold on the Gydan Peninsula, dominated by country’s largest gas producer Novatek.

North Kustarnikovy also includes the settlement of Antipayuta on the shore of the Taz Bay that may serve as a potential support base for the development of hydrocarbon assets of the block.

According to preliminary estimates, the tract is believed to contain possible in-place reserves of about 840 million barrels of oil and condensate and about 423 billion cubic metres of gas.

Besides Rosneft and Gazprom, the block may be of interest to Novatek, which had earlier obtained licences for several tracts on the Gydan Peninsula to the north-west of North Kustarnikovy in a bid to increase the reserves base for its third major liquefied natural gas plant, planned to come online before 2030.

According to Rosnedra, bidding for the 25-year exploration and development licence for this large block will start from 697 million roubles ($9.4 million).

A second tract to be auctioned is West Yagenetsky that occupies over 1800 square kilometres and is located in the heart of the already developed gas province in the Yamal-Nenets region.

Rosnedra said that this acreage has joint borders with two fields that are operated by Novatek, and another asset that is licensed to Gazprom.

Three exploration wells that were spud on the acreage back in the Soviet era failed to confirm commercial hydrocarbons.

However, according to Rosnedra estimates, it may still have possible in-place resources of 260 million barrels of oil and condensate and 93 billion cubic metres of gas.

A third block, Luchisty, is significantly smaller, with the total area of 395 square kilometres and lies on the right bank of the Taz River next to the North Russky block, licensed to Novatek.

The block has seen no prior exploration drilling, however, more than half of it is covered by legacy 2D seismic.

According to Rosnedra, bidding for the three assets — scheduled for 27 April — will be open to Russian and international participants, which will have to submit their applications to take part in planned auctions by 31 March.