Rosneft unit buys stake in 20 gulf blocks from ExxonMobil

Neftegaz America Shelf LP (Neftegaz), an independent subsidiary of OAO Rosneft, acquired 30% interest in 20 deepwater exploration blocks in the Gulf of Mexico from ExxonMobil Corp.

ExxonMobil retains 70% interest in the blocks and remains operator. Analysis of seismic data is under way for the blocks, which have no production.

The 20 blocks cover 111,600 acres in 2,100-6,800 ft of water with 17 of them being in the western gulf and 3 in the central gulf.

Rosneft Pres. Igor I. Sechin said interest in the gulf blocks “provides Rosneft and its affiliates with access to one of the world’s most prolific basins.”

Sechin believes experience and knowledge acquired in the process could be used for developing deepwater blocks in Russia, including in the Tuapse Trough in the Black Sea.

The western blocks are Alaminos Canyon 569, 612, 613, 655, 656, 657, 698, 699, 700, and 701; East Breaks 429, 471, 472, 473, and 515; Keathley Canyon 529 and 573.

The central blocks are Walker Ridge 629, 673, and 717.

Rosneft and ExxonMobil continue to implement a strategic cooperation agreement signed in 2011, under which the companies and their subsidiaries plan to undertake joint exploration and development of hydrocarbon resources in Russia and other countries and to share technology and expertise.

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