Rosneft, Statoil Sign Russian Offshore Exploration Deal

Norway's Statoil and Russia's Rosneft have signed agreements to cooperate on offshore exploration in the Barents Sea in the Russian Arctic and the Sea of Okhotsk in the Russian Far East.

The agreements – signed in Stavanger, Norway by Statoil CEO Helge Lund and Rosneft Chairman Igor Sechin – will see the companies establish joint ventures in four offshore license areas. One of these license areas is Perseevsky in the Barents Sea, while the other three – Kashevarovsky, Lisyansky and Magadan 1 – are in the Sea of Okhotsk.

Rosneft will have an equity share of 66.7 percent in each of the operating joint ventures, while Statoil will hold 33.3 percent. In return, for Statoil's share it will fund 100 percent of costs during the exploration phase, which will include an obligatory work program of six wildcat wells to be drilled between 2016 and 2021.

"At Statoil, we look forward to exploring these offshore Russian licenses together with Rosneft. The agreement that we signed today give me confidence in our joint strategic venture. I congratulate the Statoil and Rosneft project teams for their efforts and look forward to taking the next step in our partnership with Rosneft," Statoil CEO Helge Lund said in a statement.

Rosneft Chairman Igor Sechin added in his own statement that the agreements signed Thursday were another important step in implementing a strategic cooperation deal that the two companies signed on May 5.

"The pace at which this agreement with Statoil is being implemented instills us with confidence and means we can say that all of the companies' obligations within the joint venture will be fulfilled on time and in strict compliance with environmental regulations," said Sechin.

Both companies pointed out that the JVs would depend upon the enactment and implementation of a fiscal reform package providing incentives for the development of the Russian offshore oil and gas sector that was outlined in a Russian government decree of April 2012.

A former engineer, Jon is an award-winning editor who has covered the technology, engineering and energy sectors since the mid-1990s. Email Jon at


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