Russia's Gazprom has unveiled ambitious exploration plans and priorities for its 15 large licences in the country's sector of the Barents Sea and Kara Sea as the state-controlled giant tries to hold onto the tracts amid potential competition from foreign players.

The disclosure from Gazprom is intended to show that the gas monopoly is not sitting on its laurels and is progressing plans to commercialise vast offshore gas reserves after Russian authorities recently hinted at possibly opening its offshore hydrocarbon blocks to international investors.