Rosneft seals partnership deals

Rosneft annoucned today it has signed cooperation agreements with Norway's Statoil, Italy's Eni, and America's ExxonMobil.

Statoil and Rosneft have made official their plans to explore for oil and gas offshore Russia. 

The two companies have agreed contractual frameworks for joint venture exploration in four offshore licenses in the Sea of Okhotsk and the Barents Sea.

These are the Kashevarovsky, Lisyansky and Magadan-1 licenses, in the Sea of Okhotsk, north of the Sakhalin Island, and the Perseevsky license, in the central Barents Sea.

Norway-based Statoil will hold 33.33% and Russia headquartered Rosneft 66.67% in each of the operating companies established to explore the licenses.

The agreements were signed shortly before Rosneft also agreed to explore other parts of the Russian Barents Sea and the Black Sea with Italy's ENI. This will involve joint exploration of the Fedynsky block and Central Barents block in the Barents Sea and the Western Chernomorsky block in the Black Sea.

The Fedynsky block is in the southern Barents Sea in 200-320m water. License obligations include one exploration well by 2020 and, if successful, a second within five years.

The Central Barents block, south of Fedynsky, is in 160-300m water. The license obligation is for one exploration well by January 2021, and if successful, a second in five years.

The Western Chernomorsky block is in 600-2250m water. Rosneft says it has identified six leads "with high potential". Two exploration wells are to be drilled in 2015-2016, to meet license obligations.

Under the agreement between Rosneft and Statoil, Statoil will carry the cost of exploration on the four licenses. Six wildcat wells are planned between 2016 and 2021. Rosneft will reimburse its share of exploration cost from commercial production of any discoveries.

On June 12, Rosneft and Statoil were also awarded interests in PL713 in the Norwegian Barents Sea and are to start joint exploration on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

The license area covers 1213 sq km close to the recently discovered Johan Castberg field.

The two firms have also agreed to explore shale oil opportunities in the Samara region of Russia.

Additionally, Rosneft and ExxonMobil announced the formation of a joint venture companies concerning Kara and Black Seas projects. The companies, Tuapsemorneftegaz SARL and Karmorneftegaz SARL, respectively, will begin project implementation activities as operator pursuant to agreement with Rosneft, which is the license holder with 66.67% stake. The initial cost of exploration in the Kara and Black Seas is approximately US$3.2 billion, the majority of which will be financed by ExxonMobil. Drilling operations are expected to begin in 2014.

Rosneft and ExxonMobil also established foundations for joint ventures to explore seven other licenses in the Russian Arctic and to manage the joint West Siberia tight oil project. The companies will next move on to the planning phase for an LNG development in the Russian Far East.

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