Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Russia's Gazprom Neft eyes Iran, Cuba oil projects

Russia's Gazprom Neft eyes Iran, Cuba oil projects
Tue Jun 29, 2010 7:53am EDT

* Gazprom Neft aims for 100,000 tonnes of oil output by 2020
* Cuba estimates 20 billion barrels of oil offshore

MOSCOW, June 29 (Reuters) - Gazprom Neft (SIBN.MM), the oil arm of
Russian energy firm Gazprom (GAZP.MM), is looking to expand its foreign
operations into oil-rich Cuba and Iran, which are both hindered by trade

The company is actively seeking to increase its resource base to meet an
ambitious oil output goal of 100,000 million tonnes a year by 2020, up
from around 60,000 million.

"Gazprom Neft wants to join Petronas' [PETR.UL] project in Cuba,"
Gazprom Neft head Alexander Dyukov said during the company's annual
shareholders' meeting.

His deputy, Boris Zilbermints, said the firm aimed to clinch a deal in July.

Zilbermints also said the company was keen to conclude preliminary talks
to develop the Anran oilfield in Iran by the end of the summer but
implementing the deal would depend on the United Nations changing its
trade sanctions on the country.

Last November, Gazprom Neft (SIBN.MM), Russia's fifth-largest oil
producer, signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Iranian
Oil Co (NIOC) to study the development of another two Iranian oilfields,
Azar and Shangule.

Cuba estimates it has 20 billion barrels of oil-abundant in its section
of the Gulf of Mexico that abuts the oil-rich U.S. and Mexican zones of
the gulf.

Cuba's portion of the Gulf of Mexico has been divided into 59 blocks, of
which 17 have been contracted out to companies including Spanish oil
giant Repsol (REP.MC) (REP.N) and its partners, Malaysia's Petronas,
Brazil's Petrobras (PETR4.SA)(PBR.N), Venezuela's PDVSA and PetroVietnam.

Cuba also presents some difficulties for the development of hydrocarbon
reserves as the country falls under a U.S.-imposed trade embargo. The
48-year-old embargo limits the amount of U.S. technoloby that can be
used in oil developments in Cuba.

Gazprom Neft also owns a 20 percent state in a consortium with other
Russian producers to develop hydrocarbon deposits in Venezuela.

On Friday, the company signed a production sharing agreement (PSA) for
two oil offshore blocks in Equatorial Guinea, the latest country into
which the firm has expanded its activity, pledging $3 billion in
investments. (Reporting by Katya Golubkova, writing by Vladimir
Soldatkin; editing by Karen Foster)


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