Lukoil Exits Polar Lights Joint Venture

Lukoil will exit a joint venture with ConocoPhillips in Russia's Arctic, ceding its place to Rosneft in a comlex asset swap.

Rosneft said its board had endorsed the asset swap with Lukoil, which would sell Rosneft its 30% stake in the 25,000 barrels per day Polar Lights joint venture. The swap will raise Rosneft's stake to 50%, on a par with ConocoPhilips.

Rosneft will in turn cede Lukoil a 25.5% stake in AGD, a northern company holding an estimated 1.2 billion barrels of proven untapped reserves.

The swap will give Lukoil a 100% stake in AGD in the oil rich Timan-Pechora province, an area expected to fuel the company's production growth. The agreement between the two firms, finalized earlier by Lukoil, involves a number of other smaller asset swaps as well as a decision by the two companies to drop mutual legal claims.