Rosneft, BP ink oil exploration deal
St Petersburg (Russia), May 25, 2014
Rosneft and BP have signed an agreement to jointly explore for hard-to-recover oil in Russia, the first major deal for the state-run oil company since the West imposed sanctions on Moscow.
Rosneft chief executive Igor Sechin, a close ally of President Vladimir Putin, has been targeted by the US sanctions along with some other members of Putin's inner circle following Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in March.
With Putin watching, Sechin and BP Russia head David Campbell signed an agreement at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum to jointly explore for hard-to-recover oil in the Volga-Urals region of central Russia.
Rosneft will hold 51 per cent of the joint venture, which will explore the Domanic formation, and BP will hold 49pc. BP holds almost 20pc stake in Rosneft.
BP chief executive Bob Dudley was present at the signing but did not sign it himself. He said BP stood by its Russian investments and the sanctions on Sechin had not affected BP's business with Rosneft.
Global energy executives, including Royal Dutch Shell's Ben van Beurden, Total's Christophe de Margerie, Eni's Claudio Descalzi and ExxonMobil Development Company's Neil Duffin, have kept a low profile during the forum.
Washington, and some other governments, had urged senior executives not to attend the forum.
Rosneft has previously reached agreements with ExxonMobil of the US and Norway's Statoil to explore for hard-to-recover oil that is seen by Russia as a source of future oil production growth.-Reuters