Rosneft 'to map Arctic blocks'

Breaking the ice: Rosneft is set to start surveying Arctic blocks

Rosneft intends to start mapping of blocks in the Russian Arctic as a precursor to exploration in the region following its $3.2 billion tie-up with US supermajor ExxonMobil, according to a report.

The board of the Russian state oil company has approved a deal with geological outfit SakhalinNIPImorneft to map three blocks in the Kara Sea and one in the Barents Sea, Russian website reported.

The three Kara tracts - East Prinovozemelskiy Blocks 1, 2 and 3 - are included in the partnership deal for Arctic exploration that Rosneft signed last week with ExxonMobil, which followed the collapse of an earlier pact with BP.

These blocks, covering 126,000 square kilometres, "are among the most promising and least explored offshore areas globally, with high potential for liquids and gas", according to the US company.

Rosneft will also start mapping of the Yuzhno Russkoye area in the south-east Barents Sea, near the Pechora Sea.

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