ExxonMobil in $3.2bn Rosneft Arctic pact

Done deal: ExxonMobil shakes hands with Rosneft on large-scale cooperation

ExxonMobil and Rosneft have struck a partnership deal for exploration and production in Russia, the US and elsewhere.

The US supermajor and Russian oil giant are planning a $3.2 billion development programme in the Kara Sea in Russia's Arctic region as well as the Black Sea.

The vast deal, which also covers projects in Western Siberia, the US and elsewhere in the world, in part replaces an earlier proposed tie-up between Rosneft and UK supermajor BP which fell apart months after it was announced earlier this year.

Tuesday's announced deal was struck during a meeting at the Black Sea resort town of Sochi attended by Russian Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, and ExxonMobil chairman and chief executive, Rex Tillerson. The deal was penned by Rosneft president, Eduard Khudainatov and Neil Duffin, president of ExxonMobil Development Company.

The commitment of $3.2 billion is to fund exploration of East Prinovozemelskiy Blocks 1, 2 and 3 in the Kara Sea and the Tuapse License Block in the Black Sea.

In a statement on Tuesday, ExxonMobil says these blocks "are among the most promising and least explored offshore areas globally, with high potential for liquids and gas".

The deal also gives Rosneft the chance to get a foothold in some of ExxonMobil's plays in North America, including in the deep-water Gulf of Mexico and tight oilfields in Texas and elsewhere around the world.

"The companies have also agreed to conduct a joint study of developing tight oil resources in Western Siberia," the supermajor continued.

As part of the "strategic cooperation agreement", the pair is creating an Arctic research and design centre for offshore development to be based in St Petersburg and staffed by employees from both companies.

Rosneft has been looking for another major partner after its proposed $16 billion tie-up with BP for exploration and production in the Arctic collapsed before the summer. The deal crumbled after objections raised by BP's joint venture partners in Russia.


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