Rosneft Wants Stake In Possible Lukoil, ConocoPhillips JV

Russian state-owned oil major OAO Rosneft said Tuesday it would like to participate in a multibillion-dollar oil project currently being negotiated by OAO Lukoil and ConocoPhillips.

"Right now it's being discussed inside the company," a Rosneft spokesman told Dow Jones Newswires. "Formal talks haven't begun."

News reports quoted Rosneft Vice President Sergei Oganesyan as saying the company wants a stake of 20%-25% in the Northern Territories fields in the Timan Pechora oil province, located in Russia's Arctic north.

The fields cover 1.2 million acres and are thought to hold about 1 billion barrels of recoverable crude oil and more than 60 billion cubic meters of natural gas.

Rosneft has bought many assets in northern Russia over the past year in a spree of acquisitions financed by strong cash flow resulting from high international oil prices.

In July, Rosneft acquired a 30% stake in the Polar Lights project, operated by ConocoPhillips, from Lukoil, Russia's second-largest oil producer, bringing its share in the project up to 50%. Polar Lights' oil fields are located south of those being considered for the Northern Territories project.

The Polar Lights joint venture produced about 4,000 tons, or 30,000 barrels a day, said Elena Zemskova, a ConocoPhillips spokeswoman in Moscow. Zemskova declined to comment on Rosneft's desire to participate in the Northern Territories project.

Lukoil has said it won't comment on its ongoing negotiations with ConocoPhillips.