Rosneft seeks Asian partners for Arctic projects

OAO Rosneft Pres. and Chairman Igor Sechin met with oil company executives in China and Japan to discuss establishing partnerships in Russian offshore Arctic projects and possibly future LNG projects.

On Feb. 20, Sechin met with Marubeni Corp. and Itochu Corp., both Japanese trading companies. He also met with Inpex Corp., a Japanese international oil and gas company involved in 71 projects in 27 countries, and Japan Petroleum Exploration Co. Ltd. (Japex), involved in projects in Japan and abroad.

Japex, Itochu, Marubeni, and Inpex are among numerous Japanese companies holding interest in Sakhalin Oil Development Co. Ltd., which represents Japan in the Sakhalin 1 consortium.

In China, Sechin met with executives of China National Petroleum Corp., China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (Sinopec), and CNOOC Ltd. to discuss developing Russia's Arctic shelf.

Russia is estimated to hold more than half of the total Arctic resources, Ernst & Young said in a recent report entitled “Arctic Oil and Gas” (OGJ Online Feb. 12, 2012).

Sechin also discussed LNG export possibilities during his Asia trip. Currently, Gazprom is the only company that can export Russian gas, but the Russian Ministry of Energy reportedly might halt that monopoly to help Russian companies expand into new markets.

Earlier this month, ExxonMobil Corp. and Rosneft agreed to expand a 2011 strategic cooperation agreement to include more Russian Arctic exploratory acreage, possible Rosneft participation in ExxonMobil’s Point Thomson gas-condensate field in Alaska, and a potential Russian Arctic LNG project (OGJ Online, Feb. 13, 2012).

In another partnership, Rosneft signed contracts advancing its strategic cooperation agreement with Norway’s Statoil to cover projects in Russia (OGJ Online, June 22, 2012).

Eni SPA of Italy and Rosneft last year signed a strategic cooperation agreement covering exploration of licenses in the Barents and Black Seas offshore Russia (OGJ Online, Apr. 25, 2012).

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

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