Russia's largest oil producer Rosneft has completed a deal to sell its 5% stake in flagship upstream project in East Siberia, known as Vostok Oil, to a consortium of commodity trader Vitol and Singapore-based Mercantile & Maritime Energy.
The oil producer said in a statement that the deal will close following its approval by the Rosneft’s board of 11 directors that is headed by former German chancellor Gerhard Schroder.
Rosneft added that because of the size of the shareholding, the transaction could be concluded without waiting for the approval of the Russian regulator, the federal anti-monopoly service.
The deal was initially revealed in June this year and was labelled by Rosneft as an indication of trust from international investors towards the ambitious project which is estimated will need lifetime investments of about $100 billion.
In Russia, several independent analysts have repeatedly questioned the schedule for Vostok Oil which, Rosneft claims, will hit an output of 2 million barrels per day in 2030, adding some 18% to the the country's total oil production.
Today, the East Siberian project is still in its exploration phase and any development would be via pipelines and a dedicated connection to a yet-to-be-built marine oil export terminal in the Yenisey Bay in the Russian Arctic.
Rosneft said in a statement that Vostok Oil is expected to have 75% less carbon dioxide emissions than other major greenfield oil projects in the world, and will ship light sweet crude with an ultra low content of sulphur to international markets.
Both Vitol and Trafigura will have priority rights to receive shipments of “green barrels” of oil from Vostok Oil, the company said.
While Rosneft’s proceeds from the sale of the 5% stake in Vostok Oil have yet to be disclosed, in December the company agreed to sell a 10% stake in the project to international commodity trader Trafigura for €7 billion ($8.4 billion).
Out of this amount, Trafigura paid just €1.4 billion, with the remaining amount arranged as a loan from a consortium of Russian banks, led by Moskovsky Kreditny Bank.
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