Russia's largest oil producer Rosneft has completed the first part of its planned acquisition of privately held explorer Taymyrneftegaz, which holds the licence for the Payakha field and several other large onshore blocks in East Siberia's Krasnoyarsk region.
Though some of Rosneft’s stock is publicly traded, the company has not disclosed the financial details of the transaction.
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Oil reserves at Payakha and the surrounding acreage are estimated at more than 7.3 billion barrels, although some industry analysts in Moscow insist additional exploration is required to confirm the validity of such numbers.
Anticipating potential inquiries, Rosneft said it did not buy Taymyrneftegaz directly but through six subsidiaries, whose respective stakes account for 100% of the equity.
This arrangement has at least delayed compliance with a legal requirement for the oil producer to disclose the amounts paid for Taymyrneftegaz.
The seller, holding company Neftegazholding, is reported to be majority owned by Eduard Khudaynatov, a former executive chairman of Rosneft and an associate of Rosneft’s current executive chairman Igor Sechin.
Nor has Rosneft disclosed when Neftegazholding will start engaging in the second part of the deal under which it will use received proceeds to buy some legacy assets from Rosneft.
During a conference call with UK-based investment firm Sova Capital earlier in December, Rosneft executives said that over a timeframe of 18 months, the company will part with mature assets in various regions of Russia that today produce more than 400,000 barrels per day of oil.
The Rosneft executives identified several subsidiaries to be put up for sale, including Orenburgneft, Samaraneftegaz, Varyoganneftegaz, Severnaya Neft and Sakhalinmorneftegaz.
The asset swap consideration will also include the Talinskoye field in West Siberia, which is licensed to Rosneft subsidiary Nyaganneftegaz.
Rosneft also disclosed in November that it was ready to sell a 10% interest in its subsidiary Vostok Oil to international commodity trader Trafigura, reducing its own shareholding to 90%.
Trafigura said on Wednesday that it completed the transaction with Rosneft, acting through a wholly-owned entity
"The acquisition is majority financed by long-term debt financing provided to this entity," Trafigura said in the statement, without revealing participating financial institutions.
Vostok Oil holds licences for Rosneft’s exploration blocks in the Krasnoyarsk region, located near the Taymyrneftegaz assets, as well as a minority stake in Taymyrneftegaz itself.
Rosneft has been strongly promoting Vostok Oil's upstream development plans, with Sechin promising the venture will be capable of producing as much as 600,000 bpd by 2024.
Also in December, Russian authorities granted Vostok Oil an exemption from paying an oil export tax on its future output, and provided other tax incentives for Rosneft to facilitate its investments in the project.
Speaking earlier on Wednesday, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said the ministry is considering other tax concessions for companies operating in the Russian Arctic, including a lower corporate profit tax.