* Gazprom owns other 51 pct in Nortgas
* The deal to close by the year-end
* Nortgas estimated to have 1.7 bln boe at end-2011
(Adds detail, share performance, quote)
MOSCOW, Nov 6 Russia's second-largest gas
producer, Novatek, said it acquired a 49 percent stake
in producer Nortgas for $1.38 billion from businessman Farkhad
Akhmedov, boosting Novatek's reserves by more than 10 percent.
Novatek's shares, which have been battered in recent weeks
by news of rising competition on the domestic market from other
non-Gazprom producers, were up 2.66 percent as of 1404 GMT.
Nortgas holds the production license for the
Severo-Urengoyskoye field in the Nadym-Pur-Taz basin, in close
proximity to Novatek's existing production in northern Russia.
Russian state gas export monopoly Gazprom owns the
other 51 percent of Nortgas.
"The ability to acquire a significant asset such as Nortgas
is consistent with our overall strategy to expand our reserve
base and raise our production profile in our core region of
operations," Chief Executive Leonid Mikhelson said in a
statement on Tuesday.
According to international petroleum firm DeGolyer &
MacNaughton, the proved reserves of Nortgas under PRMS
classification amounted to 1.7 billion barrels of oil equivalent
as of end-December 2011. Novatek's current PRMS reserves are at
11.3 billion barrels.
Novatek said it bought the stake from Akhmedov's R.E.D.I.
Holdings. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the
Novatek, controlled by Mikhelson and businessman Gennady
Timchenko, is seeking to ramp up its gas production, with a view
to doubling yearly output by 2020 from over 50 billion cubic
During the first nine months of 2012, the
Severo-Urengoyskoye field produced 3.1 billion cubic meters of
natural gas and 320,000 tonnes of gas condensate.
(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; editing by Jane Baird)