Exxon, Rosneft hint at joint plans

Sept. 14, 2011 at 6:48 AM

MOSCOW, Sept. 14 (UPI) -- U.S. supermajor Exxon Mobil and Russian oil company Rosneft aim to outline plans that may include work in the Russian arctic by year's end, an executive said.

"A working group of Rosneft and Exxon Mobil is drawing up a detailed plan of joint projects and will complete the specifics by the end of the year," Rosneft Chief Executive Officer Eduard Khudainatov was quoted by Russia's state-run news agency RIA Novosti as saying.

The companies last month announced the signing of a strategic cooperation agreement through which joint exploration and development of offshore reserves in Russia, the United States and other countries will take place.

The agreement includes $3.2 billion for an exploration campaign in the Kara Sea and parts of the Black Sea. Exxon said the areas are "among the most promising and least-explored" in the world.

The companies agreed to set up an arctic research center aimed at developing new technologies to explore drilling operations in the region. Melting sea ice is exposing vast areas believed to contain oil and natural gas deposits.

The agreement, which includes work in Western Siberia and the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, follows a failed deal between Rosneft and BP for similar operations. Anglo-Russian venture TNK-BP claimed a proposed deal between its sister company, BP, and Rosneft violated the terms of its shareholder agreement.

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