Oil majors fight over Arctic field

The disputed Arctic license is located not far from Khatanga in the Taimyr Peninsula.

State company Rosneft files law suit against the Ministry of Natural Resources over the right to develop the East-Taimyr license.

The ministry recently declared private company Lukoil the winner of the remote Arctic license. That was not well perceived by license contender Rosneft, which now takes the government body to court. According to Rosneft, a number of serious violations of the tender regulations was conducted, newspaper Vedomosti reports.

As long as the court assesses the case, Lukoil will be blocked from starting operations in the license area.

The East-Taimyr license is located on the northern tip of Taimyr, the peninsula located between the Kara and Laptev Seas, and was won by Lukoil for a total of 1,9 billion rubles (€26 million). That was 600 times higher than the tender starting price set by the Russian Natural Resource Ministry.

The oil company, the second biggest in Russia, sees the East Taimyr license as a possible stepping stone towards offshore Arctic engagement. It is believed that the company which gets hold of the license will have major chances to obtain also other and much richer deposits in nearby waters.