Under Russian law, exploration or production of mineral resources can only be carried out after an appropriate license has been obtained.

As of December 31, 2012 Rosneft, its subsidiaries and equity affiliates held 597 licenses for geological study and (or) exploration and production of hydrocarbons in Russia and on the Russian offshore. The Company also held six licenses in foreign countries.

The expiry dates of the Company’s production licenses vary from 2013 to 2070. Rosneft has been working in the last six years to secure further extension of licenses for its major fields (the Russian Law On Sub-soil Resources permits license extension for a period up to full field depletion in accordance with project documentation on the initiative of sub-soil users, provided that no violation of license conditions has been committed). Rosneft obtained extensions for 163 licenses in the period from 2007 until 2012, including 47 extensions obtained in 2012. A total of 194 applications for amendments and additions to current licenses were prepared in 2012 and submitted to federal and regional agencies with responsibility for sub-soil use, of which 63 were for changes in exploration work schedules, 75 for extension of the period of license validity, 33 for updating of the terms of license agreements, 21 for boundary changes at license areas and 2 for redrafting of licenses.

Rosneft is a responsible user of mineral resources, strictly observing all of its license commitments. In 2012, agencies responsible for the supervision and control of sub-soil use carried out six inspections of observance of license conditions and environmental protection obligations at Tomskneft VNK, RN-Krasnodarneftegaz, Grozneftegaz and Samaraneftegaz. Action plans were designed on the basis of the inspection findings and reports on implementation of the plans have been heard by three commissions on sub-soil use at the Company. The action plans are being implemented according to the approved schedule.

The Company obtained 32 new licenses during 2012, winning eight auctions (competitions) for rights to carry out geological studies, exploration and production of hydrocarbons at the Sernovodskoye field (Republic of Ingushetia), the Korneyevsky, Komsomolsky and Nizovsky areas (Samara Region) and the Logoshursky, South Lyuksky, Votkinsky and Sharkansky areas (Republic of Udmurtia). Payments for these licenses totaled RUB 1.4 bln. Total recoverable ABC1 and C2 reserves at the new areas (Russian classification) are estimated at 6.2 mln tonnes of oil and 1 bcm of gas.

Six exploration licenses were obtained on an application basis, of which four in the Chechen Republic (the North Groznensky, West Groznensky, East Groznensky and Nozhai-Yurtovsky areas), one in Krasnodar Territory (Novoukrainsky area) and one in Sakhalin Region (West-Monginsky area).

Three licenses were obtained on the basis of field discoveries: the North Danilovskoye and and South Danilovskoye field (Samara Region) and the Ichemminskoye field (Krasnoyarsk Territory).

Five licenses were obtained without competition for areas on the shelf of the Barents Sea (Sea of Pechora): the Perseyevsky, Fedynsky, Central Barents, Pomorsky and North Pomorsky-2 areas. License payments for these areas totaled RUB 2.9 bln. Recoverable resources are estimated at 2.9 bln tonnes of oil equivalent.

Rosneft had 18 license applications under consideration by Russian Government authorities at the end of 2012, including 12 applications for offshore areas in the Arctic seas. At the end of January 2013 a Russian Government order was signed granting Rosneft 12 licenses for areas in the Barents Sea, Kara Sea, Chukchi Sea and Laptev Sea. Recoverable resources at these areas are estimated at 111.5 bln barrels of oil equivalent (taking into account West-Prinovozemelsky Block for which the licence was reissued). 

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