Total, Lukoil finalise shale tie-up


France’s Total and Russia’s Lukoil have finalised their new joint venture to explore Russia’s Bazhenov shale oil play in western Siberia.

The French major and the Russian independent are team up on an initial four blocks under the joint venture, which saw a memorandum of understanding last December.

Total chief executive Christophe de Margerie said that the Bazhenov was “one of the world’s largest shale oil formations” and held “huge potential”.

He said the tie-up would seek to combine Total’s international expertise with Lukoil’s operating experience in the region.

Lukoil will hold 51% of the venture while Total will hold 49%.

The four licences, three of which were Total’s and one Lukoil’s, cover an area of 2700 square kilometres in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous District.

The duo plan to start seismic acquisition later this year and begin drilling next year on the Lyaminskiy 3, Vostochno-Kovenskiy, Tashinskiy and Galyanovsky licences.

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