* Buys Tambeyneftegas, holds Malo-Yamalskoye licence
* Holds 161 bcm natural gas
* Cost $10 mln
MOSCOW, July 2 (Reuters) - Russia’s No. 2 gas producer Novatek NOTK.MM increased its natural gas reserves by 16.4 percent with its purchase of Tambeyneftegas, which holds the licence to the arctic Malo-Yamalskoye field.
The field, located in Russia’s most hydrocarbon-rich region on the Yamal Peninsuila, holds 161 billion cubic metres (bcm) of natural gas and 14.4 million tonnes of gas condensate.
The acquisition, costing $10 million, stands in line with the company’s aggressive expansion plan and goal of doubling its annual production capacity to reach 65 bcm by 2015, up from the 32.8 bcm it produced in 2009.
Novatek, together with Russia’s state-owned gas export monopoly Gazprom (GAZP.MM), has plans to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in Yamal that would allow the producers to ship gas to Asian markets through the northern arctic waters.
Novatek also recently brought France’s Total (TOTF.PA) on board to develop its arctic Termokarstovoye field, selling the oil group a 44.5 percent stake in license-holding company Termeftegas. [ID:nLDE65A18A] (Writing by Jessica Bachman, editing by Alison Birrane)