Russian state-controlled gas monopoly Gazprom and privately held Rusgazdobycha have finalised a joint venture to explore and develop the Tambey cluster of three gas fields in the north-eastern part of the Yamal Peninsula in West Siberia.

The venture named Gazpromdobycha Tambey, was incorporated in the West Siberia city of Novy Urengoy that hosts operators of major gas fields in the Yamal-Nenets region, the country’s core gas producing province.

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According to the Gazprom’s statement, the company is represented in the joint venture by its wholly owned subsidiary Gazprom Nedra that will hold a 50% stake in the new company.

A next step for the joint venture is to receive updated exploration and development licences for three fields from Gazprom Nedra, with the monopoly expecting the transfer of licences to be completed in 2022.

Gazprom obtained E&D licences for the three Tambey fields in 2008 in expectation that it may hold the development of these assets for two decades or more while it concentrates on the development of Bovanenkovo and several other major gas fields in the south-western part of the Yamal Peninsula.

However, in May this year, Gazprom suddenly announced its plan to push forward the Tambey development, with first production now slated for 2026, according to the company.

That has happened in response to efforts from independent gas producer Novatek to persuade authorities to pass the control of the group of the Tambey fields away from Gazprom and into the hands of Novatek.

Novatek already operates Russia's largest liquefied natural gas development to the south of the three deposits in the form of Yamal LNG project, and offers a potentially faster route to market for the Tambey gas.

Novatek has proposed exporting all future gas production in the form of LNG to international markets, in contrast to Gazprom’s plan of transporting Tambey gas output over 3,000 kilometres via trunk pipelines for liquefaction in the port of Ust-Luga in the north-west of Russia.

According to tender disclosure notices by Gazprom Nedra, three fields in the Tambey group are still in the exploration phase, with more than 10 exploration wells planned to be drilled at the tracts in the next two years to delineate previously discovered deposits.

The three Tambey field are estimated to contain recoverable reserves of 5.2 trillion cubic metres of gas and about 2.8 billion barrels of condensate and oil.