Russian oil producers Lukoil and Gazprom Neft have finalised financial terms of their earlier deal under which Lukoil will become a 50% partner in Meretoyakhaneftegaz, an oil and gas venture in the Yamal-Nenets region in West Siberia.

According to Lukoil, it will pay 52 billion rubles ($710 million) for the stake to Gazprom Neft, which currently holds a 100% interest in the venture.

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With its payment, Lukoil will also receive the right for a 50% share in a 35-billion-ruble, long-term loan that Gazprom Neft had earlier provided to the venture to bankroll its operations, the company said.

Terms of the transaction also include an obligation for Lukoil to deliver 8.9 billion rubles of additional financing to Meretoyakhaneftegaz, to finance its exploration efforts to identify additional reserves within its licence blocks, Lukoil added.

Meretoyakhaneftegaz is set to develop three fields – Tazovskoye, North Samburgskoye and Meretoyakhinskoye, as well as to explore two West Yubileyny blocks in the Yamal-Nenets region.

Lukoil said in-place geological resources of assets licenced to the venture are estimated at more than 7.3 billion barrels of oil and condensate, and 500 billion cubic metres of gas.

The venture reported production of almost 11,000 barrels per day of oil and condensate, and of 2.9 Bcm of gas, between January and November this year, following the start-up of output at the Tazovskoye field in June, according to the Russian Energy Ministry.

Lukoil said the equity transaction, announced in September, is now expected to be closed next year, after it obtains corporate approvals from directors of both companies and permission from the Russian federal anti-monopoly service.

State-controlled Gazprom Neft has been looking for partners with a goal of speeding up its major exploration and development projects in West Siberia, as the company targets rapid growth of its hydrocarbon production.

Earlier this week, the oil producer said it had commissioned producing wells and supporting infrastructure at the Pestsovoye and Yen-Yakhinskoye fields that are licenced to its parent, gas monopoly Gazprom, in the Yamal-Nenets region.

Gazprom Neft said that development horizontal wells have targeted so-called oil rims at these gas fields – thin layers with oil that lie between gas and water reservoirs. The company now expects production from these layers to hit a total output of 117,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2022.