STAVANGER, Norway, Aug. 31 (UPI) -- Norwegian energy company Statoil said it would finance the costs associated with exploration in the Barents of Okhotsk seas in a partnership with Rosneft.
Statoil Chief Executive Officer Helge Lund met with his Rosneft counterpart Igor Sechin in Stavanger, Norway, to sign a shareholder agreement for four offshore licenses in the Barents Sea and Sea of Okhotsk.
Lund said Statoil would fund the costs associated with the exploration phase, which includes a series of wells planned through 2021.
Both sides signed a strategic cooperation agreement to explore offshore frontier areas in the arctic in May.
Rosneft controls a 66.6 percent stake in joint ventures aimed at exploring the arctic seas. The licenses cover more than 38,600 square miles.
Neither company outlined costs associated with the exploration campaign or the expected resource potential. Work is to begin in 2016.
Italian energy company Eni had said its Skrugard prospect in the Barents Sea holds as much as 250 million barrels of recoverable oil and around 350 billion cubic feet of natural gas. Together with the Havis field, about 15 miles south of Skrugard, recoverable oil reserves in the area are estimated at more than 500 million barrels.