BP, Rosneft may explore arctic reserves

March 22, 2013 at 7:24 AM

LONDON, March 22 (UPI) -- British energy company BP and Russian supermajor Rosneft aim to explore for oil in Russia's arctic after closing on the TNK-BP acquisition, an executive said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin in February signed off on an arctic development strategy that outlines "work to explore oil and gas deposits in the Russian Federation Arctic Zone."

Warmer weather patterns have left parts of the arctic ice-free for longer periods. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that as much as 80 percent of the world's undiscovered oil and 20 percent of the undiscovered natural gas may lie in arctic regions.

BP is renewing plans to work with Rosneft in the arctic after the Russian company finalized the acquisition of joint venture TNK-BP, The Daily Telegraph newspaper in London reports.

"The potential of this work is so enormous that we would welcome BP at one of our larger projects that we are undertaking," Rosneft President Igor Sechin was quoted as saying.

U.S. supermajor Exxon Mobil signed a deal last year with Rosneft to develop parts of the Black Sea and the South Kara Sea in the Russian arctic. There may be as much as 85 billion barrels of oil in the Kara Sea.

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