Russia received no bids in the attempted auction of an exploration and development licence for the remote Khara-Tumus block, writes Vladimir Afanasiev.

State-controlled oil company Rosneft decided not to bid at this stage of the exercise, and said it would instead study geological data on the acreage from subsurface agency Rosnedra.

Rosnedra chairman Yevgeny Kiselyov said Rosneft may take up to three years to study the data before deciding whether to participate in a new auction.

The large block, the planned auction of which Rosnedra announced in December, is understood to occupy the entire Khara-Tumus Peninsula bordering the Laptev Sea in East Siberia.