OAO Surgutneftegas, a Russian oil producer operating in Siberia, won rights to the Shpilman field with a 46.2 billion-ruble ($1.5 billion) bid, according to a statement on the website of subsoil agency Rosnedra.
Surgutneftegas outbid Russia’s biggest oil company, OAO Rosneft, and OAO Gazprom Neft, the statement shows. The starting price was 14 billion rubles.
The acquisition will be a boon to the Surgut-based oil producer, Russia’s fourth-largest, which lost out to TNK-BP in an auction of the Lodochnoye deposit earlier this month. Energy explorers are investing in Siberia to revive aging fields and open up new areas for development as President Vladimir Putin offers tax incentives to spur output.
Surgutneftegas had more than $32 billion in cash at the end of September, VTB Capital data show. That gives it the means to buy Shpilman, a field it’s already explored, according to Alexander Nazarov, an analyst at OAO Gazprombank. While it’s costlier than Lodochnoye, it’s closer to other Surgut operations so spending on infrastructure won’t be as high, he said.
TNK-BP won the Lodochnoye field with an offer of 4.66 billion rubles.
No one at Surgutneftegas was available for comment.