The government may again offer oil and gas deposits under so-called production-sharing agreements after years of opposition and Royal Dutch Shell's sale of control over the Sakhalin-2 project, Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko said Wednesday.
The tax-beneficial agreements, which let producers recoup investments before the government gains a share of the profit, may be used for hard-to-extract oil deposits or to encourage investment into poorly explored areas, Shmatko told lawmakers. His spokeswoman, Irina Yesipova, confirmed the remarks.
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, during his presidency, criticized PSAs held by Shell, Exxon Mobil and Total for allowing foreign companies to benefit at the expense of Russia.
Gazprom agreed to buy control of Sakhalin-2 from Shell and Japan's Mitsui and Mitsubishi in 2006 after regulators threatened to close the $22 billion project.
The Energy Ministry has sought lower taxes for oil projects, clashing with the Finance Ministry, which aims to collect additional taxes from the nation's biggest source of export revenue to narrow a budget gap.
Russia aims to keep oil output around 10 million barrels per day for decades, Putin said in October. The target will involve developing new deposits and regions as currently producing fields go into decline.