The Ministry of Natural Resources has submitted a draft law to the government, under which foreign companies might receive a guarantee to develop discovered oil and gas fields of federal importance, i.e. with reserves of more than 70mmt of crude or 50bcm of gas, reports Vedomosti. Such guarantee might be granted along with the exploration licence if the company has no financial liabilities to the government, as well as enough financial resources and technical equipment to develop the field. For those fields discovered in the first three years, the company is to be granted a development licence.
The new law might increase the attractiveness of the Russian oil industry for foreign investors, as it lowers the risks of companies not receiving a development licence after they discover a new oil field. Were the development to materialise, it would likely be perceived as positive for the sector in the longer term. For now it is hard to tell when and if the law is to be adopted.