Lukoil to Begin Work with Rosneft in Caspian, Black Seas

MOSCOW (Dow Jones Newswires), Apr. 25, 2011

Russia's biggest private oil producer Lukoil and state oil champion Rosneft plan to begin joint exploration in the Black and Caspian Seas under a new long-term cooperation agreement, Lukoil Chief Executive Vagit Alekperov said Saturday, according to the government's website.

The two companies announced a deal to merge forces in offshore exploration last week.

"It's a step forward that today allows us to take on very complex projects, both technological and capital-intensive," Alekperov told Prime Minister Vladimir Putin during a meeting.

Alekperov said Lukoil and Rosneft are likely to begin their joint work on projects in the Caspian and Black Seas, and may also merge two projects in the Timan Pechora region, where Lukoil already has oil export infrastructure in place.

The agreement also envisions joint development of offshore fields in the Azov Sea and in Arctic waters, Alekperov said.

Alekperov didn't say when work would begin, but said the deal with Rosneftby Sept. 1.

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