Russia's Gazprom Neft and Anglo-Dutch supermajor Shell have agreed to continue efforts to expand their Salym Petroleum Development (SPD) venture through acquisitions, after gaining more acreage during an auction last week, writes Vladimir Afanasiev.

SPD will also focus on tertiary recovery methods and exploring unconventional oil in deep Bazhenov reservoirs to maintain production levels.

The venture submitted the highest bid of more than 1.1 billion rubles ($17.5 million) for a 25-year exploration and development licence for the East Shapkinsky 1 block during an auction held last week, according to Russian subsurface agency Rosnedra.