Russia to Consider Lukoil for Arctic Projects

MOSCOW – The Russian government will consider OAO Lukoil Holdings' proposal to develop fields on the country's Arctic shelf, Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich told Kommersant daily in an interview published Thursday.

Under current legislation, only two state-controlled companies – OAO Rosneft and Gazprom – are allowed to own offshore licenses and other companies can enter projects as partners with them. Lukoil and other non-state companies have petitioned the government for access to offshore deposits.

Lukoil in October proposed investing $2.7 billion on offshore exploration in four license areas.

"The numbers correspond to the government's vision," Kommersant quoted Mr. Dvorkovich as saying.

He said no decision had been taken on allowing non-state companies to own offshore licenses, but that the matter would be discussed at a government meeting.




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