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Rosneft, ExxonMobil sign deal

Aug. 30, 2011 at 2:31 PM

MOSCOW, Aug. 30 (UPI) -- Russian oil giant Rosneft signed a deal with ExxonMobil that gives it access to oil fields in the Gulf of Mexico and Texas, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said.

On the flip side, ExxonMobil gained drilling access to Russian-controlled oil fields in the Arctic Ocean, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

The contract was signed by ExxonMobil President Neil Duffin and Rosneft President Eduard Khudainatov in Putin's presence, ITAR-Tass said.

Putin said the deal "will be well received by global markets as new horizons will open," RIA Novosti reported.

"The project opens up broad vistas for Rosneft. In addition, Rosneft will take part in joint projects in third countries," Putin said.

The deal apparently trumps a previous deal Rosneft made with British oil giant BP earlier this year.

The BP-Rosneft deal included a stock swap, but the ExxonMobil-Rosneft deal is set up as an asset swap, the Times said.

Putin said the deal was valued at a potential $500 billion with direct investments of up to $300 billion.

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