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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

State Revokes Severnaya Neft Permit

The Natural Resources Ministry on Friday revoked Severnaya Neft's permit to develop the lucrative Val Gamburtseva oil deposit.

"The Natural Resources Ministry has decided to withdraw the right to exploit the field by OAO Severnaya Neft due to violations in the license agreement," a ministry statement said.

Severnaya's winning bid in March of just $7 million for the 475-million-barrel Val Gamburtseva field outraged other Russian oil companies, which said they had offered as much as $100 million.

New Natural Resources Minister Vitaly Artukhov in August ordered his ministry to start legal proceedings into the distribution of some deposit licenses.

Severnaya spokeswoman Yelena Prorokova disputed the reason for the withdrawal -- for failing to make social payments to the region. She said payments could only be made after the regional parliament, which had not yet convened for fall, approved it.