Rosneft and Statoil signed a cooperation agreement to jointly explore offshore fields in the Russian sections of the Barents Sea and Sea of Okhotsk. The agreement also covers Rosneft’s participation in the exploration of license blocks in the Norwegian part of the Barents Sea, as well as the possible acquisition by Rosneft of interests in Statoil’s international projects.
The agreement, signed by Rosneft President Eduard Khudainatov and Statoil CEO Helge Lund, envisages cooperation between the companies in setting up a joint venture to explore the Perseevsky license block in the Barents Sea and three blocks in the Sea of Okhotsk, namely Magadan 1, Lisyansky and Kashevarovsky. Statoil will hold a 33.33% stake in the project.
Pursuant to the final agreements Statoil will fully finance geological exploration work at these blocks in line with approved programmes. It is agreed that Statoil will reimburse historical expenses incurred by Rosneft, as well as 33.3% of expenses incurred by the Russian company during the course of license acquisition. Furthermore, the agreement provides for the possibility of one-off bonuses to be paid by Statoil to Rosneft for each commercial oil and gas discovery in accordance with the conditions of the final agreements.
Under the agreement Rosneft will have the unique opportunity to acquire stakes in Statoil’s exploration and development projects and assets at blocks in the North Sea, as well as in the Norwegian section of the Barents Sea.
An important element of the cooperation is the agreement to carry out joint research to identify effective approaches to developing deposits with hard-to-recover oil and gas reserves (oil shale deposits at the Khadumsky formation in the Stavropol territory and highly viscous oil located below the gas cap at the Severo-Komsomolsky field in the Yamalo-Nenets autonomous district). The companies plan to jointly develop the deposits if commercial reserves are discovered.
Rosneft and Statoil also announced intentions to place orders with Russian shipyards for the construction of ice-class vessels and drilling platforms.
Commenting on the agreement, Rosneft President Eduard Khudainatov said: “This large-scale partnership agreement with Statoil – one of the global oil and gas leaders – serves to prove that the Company’s principal shareholder has chosen the right strategy in the area of developing offshore and hard-to-recover reserves. Rosneft’s management will make every effort to execute this plan with utmost effectiveness and to ensure the Company’s progressive development and the capitalisation growth. Partnership between Rosneft and Statoil will contribute significantly to the development of economic relations between Russia and Norway, signifying a new era of unprecedented levels of trust.
The willingness of our overseas partners to develop Russian fields speaks both of the attractiveness and openness of the Russian market. Access for a Russian company to promising international projects will form the foundations for new relationships in the global oil and gas industry.”
Statoil CEO Helge Lund said: “This cooperation agreement is an important milestone in Statoil’s exploration activity in Russia. We are very pleased by entering into a long term collaborative position with Rosneft, one of the leading oil and gas companies in Russia, in large, prospective frontier areas in the Barents Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk as well as joint international projects in Barents and North Seas. By building on both companies’ competence and experience, this agreement is a significant step further in the industrial development of the Northern areas.”
The Perseevsky block is located in the western part of the Barents Sea in an area adjacent to the Norwegian economic zone. Sea depth is 120 – 240 metres.
The Magadan 1 (sea depth of 100 – 160 metres), Lisyansky (sea depth of up to 200 metres) and Kashevarovsky (sea depth of 140 – 350 metres) blocks are located in the Sea of Okhotsk. Total prospective recoverable resources at these four fields stand at approximately 2 billion tonnes of oil and 1.8 trillion cubic metres of gas.