Gazprom Neft Eyeing Foreign Partners

Gazprom Neft, the oil arm of gas export monopoly Gazprom, is considering attracting foreign partners to develop a major Arctic oil deposit, a Gazprom Neft official said Tuesday.

Gazprom Neft's deputy general director, Boris Zilbermints, told a conference that foreign companies could be considered as partners in developing the Prirazlomnoye field in the Barents Sea.

"We will consider the possibility of attracting foreign partners," he said.

Gazprom, whose wholly controlled subsidiary, Sevmorneftegaz, owns the license for Prirazlomnoye, has initially said it could develop the field jointly with foreign partners, but then said it would do it alone.

The gas giant is currently constructing an offshore production platform at the deposit and plans to complete the works by late 2010 or early 2011.

It plans to produce around 6 million tons per year, or 120,500 barrels per day, from the field, with recoverable resources estimated at 46.4 million tons.

Gazprom is planning to hand over a number of licenses, including the one for Prirazlomnoye, to Gazprom Neft in 2009-2010.