Statoil Considers Increasing its Presence in Russia

A Norwegian industrial delegation which includes Statoil chief executive Olav Fjell is meeting Russian president Vladimir Putin during his brief visit to Norway on November 12th. Mr. Putin is accompanied by the top management of Russia's oil and gas industry, including Gazprom, Yukos, Lukoil, Rosneft, Sibneft and Tyumen. These companies will be taking part in a petroleum seminar being organized by the Confederation of Norwegian Business and Industry (NHO) ahead of the meeting with the president.

The Norwegian participants in this event include Norsk Hydro, Aker Kvaerner and Det Norske Veritas as well as Statoil, and the NHO sees big opportunities for Norway in Russia's expanding economy. Russia is among the countries being assessed by Statoil as a possible priority area for its future international oil and gas operations. The group signed a memorandum of understanding on November 11th with Lukoil which commits the two sides to a closer look at collaboration opportunities in the Russian sector of the Caspian. Particular mention is made in this agreement of the Yalama-Sumur prospect, which might contain oil or gas. That could first be confirmed through exploration drilling. Statoil already has Lukoil as a partner in the Shah Deniz and Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli fields in Azerbaijan's Caspian sector.

The group's involvement in Russia has so far been modest. It currently has seven service stations in the Murmansk area, in the northwestern part of the country.


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