Gazprom prepares Gazflot for sale, Rottenberg is to buy the asset

The Russian gas holding Gazprom Plc. is going to sell its 100% subsidiary Gazflot LLC founded for the leading of its integrated policy in geological exploration and mastering of gas and oil deposits at continental shelf of RF, Moscow News reports.

At the end of autumn department of property and corporate relations of Gazprom was charged with preparation to sale of the asset. Businessman, Arkady Rottenberg whose structures purchased Gazprom Bureniye from the gas concern for 4 billion rubles about a year ago is the main contender to buy Gazflot. The new purchase will help Rottenberg to improve his services and this promises a good synergic effect in the conditions of the goals of Russian state companies in the sphere of development of Arctic deposits.

Gazflot has not even been renamed in the framework of rebranding of Gazprom subsidiaries and now it is the only 100% subsidiary of the gas monopoly which does not contain Gazprom in its name. The renaming is planned for the middle of 2012. However, by this time the concern can sell the asset.

This sale is a chance to avoid expenditures connected with building and maintaining of the fleet. The shelf hydrocarbon resources development program up to 2030 adopted by Gazprom last spring stipulates that Gazprom will need four floating drilling units, five platforms, more than 18 supply vessels and 16 support vessels in Teriberka port (for Shtokman) as well as 13 tankers for transportation of liquefied natural gas.

The value of such port exceeds $10 billion USD considering the fact that some expensive objects are already built (platform for Prirazlomnoe deposit, two drilling semisubmersibles for Shtokman and Arcticheskaya self-submerge drilling unit for development of Yamal shelf). Until very recently Gazflot used to have only one drilling unit, two ice class supply vessels, three tugs, one passenger vessel and one refueling ship.

The gathering together of the whole infrastructure providing sea activities of Gazprom proved to be an overwhelming task. Gazprom and Gazflot had to provide Russian ship-building plants with orders in the framework of the program aimed at support of Russian producers to the detriment of efficiency and quality long before the idea about selling of Gazflot appeared.

The presales preparation of Gazflot slowed down due to a staff reshuffle. At the end of December 2011 three top managers of Gazprom including the Head of property and corporate relations department Olga Pavlova (replaced with Yelena Mikhailova) were fired.

Translated by Alexandra Utyasheva

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