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Rosneft and ExxonMobil sign new deal
February 14, 2013, 1:27 pm

[Getty Images]

[Getty Images]

Rosneft has given US energy giant ExxonMobil access to explore Russia’s Arctic shelf in return for the ability to acquire a stake in the Alaska gas field.

The Russian oil company signed a deal with ExxonMobil on Wednesday.

Several key issues have been added to the agreement including an additional 600,000 square kilometres of exploration acreage in the Russian Arctic, Rosneft’s potential participation in the Point Thomson project in Alaska, and joint study on a potential LNG project in the Russian Far East.

The deal was signed by the presidents of the companies, Igor Sechin and Stephen Greenlee in the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“The agreements signed today bring the already unprecedented scale of the Rosneft and ExxonMobil partnership up to a completely new level. The acreage in the Russian Arctic subject to geological exploration and subsequent development increased nearly six-fold” said Igor Sechin, Rosneft’s President.

“That means the enormous resource potential of Russian Arctic offshore fields will be explored and developed in the most efficient manner with the application of cutting-edge technologies and expertise of our strategic partner, ExxonMobil, and using state-of-the-art environmental protection systems.

“Participation in the Point Thomson project will increase Rosneft’s access to the latest gas and condensate field development technologies used in harsh climatic conditions,”  Sechin said.

The deal opens the way for Rosneft to acquire a 25 per cent stake in the US Point Thomson natural gas and condensate project in Alaska.

Thus Rosneft is provided with “an opportunity to acquire a 25 per cent interest in the Point Thomson Unit, which covers development of a remote natural gas and condensate field on Alaska’s North Slope,” says the companies joint statement.

Rosneft has confirmed that it is adding seven newly awarded Arctic license areas to expand its existing partnership pact with ExxonMobil for exploration in the frontier region.

The two countries will soon start a joint study group to look into the viability of an LNG project using available natural gas resources.

Rosneft and ExxonMobil have had an extensive partnership since 2011 when they signed the Strategic Cooperation Agreement.

Joint expenditures of the two companies might exceed $1 trillion.

Earlier on Wednesday President Putin stressed the need for Russia “to consider the possible step-by-step liberalization of the export of LNG.”

The president made the statement at a session of the Commission for Strategic Development of the Fuel and Energy Sector and Environmental Security.

Daria Chernyshova

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