OREANDA-NEWS. Novatek, Russia’s largest non-State gas producer, said on Monday it had won an auction for Alrosa’s two gas assets with a bid of 30.3-billion roubles.

Novatek has been actively buying upstream assets in an effort to boost sluggish natural gas output.

Leonid Mikhelson, chairman of the management board, said the latest purchase would increase the company’s profitability.

“They (the assets) will contribute to our gas and liquids production to load our gas condensate processing chain, thus maximising the company’s profitability,” he said in a statement.

Novatek said one of the assets, Geotransgaz, contained hydrocarbon resources of 436-million barrels of oilequivalent (boe) as of December 31 2017, according to the Russian resource classification. It produced 1.6-billion cubic meters of natural gas and 185 000 t of gas condensate in 2017, it said.

Novatek said the other asset, Urengoy Gas Company, held the hydrocarbon exploration and production license for the Ust-Yamsoveyskiy licence area, containing estimated hydrocarbon resources of 650-million boe.

Both assets were a non-core business for Alrosa, the world’s largest producer of rough diamonds, and it had tried to sell them a number of times.

Initially, Russian oil major Rosneft had been the main bidder. But it withdrew after saying it was not satisfied with the auction terms, including the short notice for downpayments.