Russian oil companies want laws changed

June 23, 2011 at 8:58 AM

MOSCOW, June 23 (UPI) -- Russian oil company Lukoil is talking with its partners at Rosneft on offshore projects but legislative hurdles are in the way, the company's chief said.

Lukoil chief Vagit Alekperov said Thursday his company wanted to work with Russian oil company Rosneft on offshore projects. Russian law needs to be altered for that to happen, he added.

"Today the difficulty is that the legislation, which allows companies to join shelf projects, limits our participation with just a small stake and the complex procedure for the transfer of licenses," he was quoted as saying by Russia's state-run news agency RIA Novosti. "Without license transfer it is very difficult to develop these projects and invest large funds for the long term."

His comments follow the collapse of a proposed $16 billion deal between Rosneft and British energy company BP for work in the northern arctic waters of Russia. TNK-BP, a joint venture between Russian billionaires and BP, shot down the deal because they said it violated their shareholder agreement.

Lukoil said it was in talks with Rosneft to explore the Black and Caspian Seas. Proposals are expected by September.

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