Total holds 49% and Lukoil, 51%. The agreement finalizes the memorandum of understanding signed by the two firms in December 2013.
The JV will assess the technical feasibility of developing the tight-oil potential of the Bazhenov formation initially on four licenses covering 2,700 sq km in the Khanty-Mansi autonomous district.
The companies said that seismic acquisition will start this year. Exploration drilling will follow in 2015.
Total will contribute its Lyaminskiy 3, Vostochno-Kovenskiy, and Tashinskiy licences to the venture, while Lukoil will add the Galyanovsky license.
“Total’s entry into the Bazhenov play, one of the world’s largest shale oil formations, reinforces our position in nonconventional hydrocarbons where the group has developed significant experience with its numerous projects,” said Total Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Christophe de Margerie.
The companies are not the first to form such a partnership. In late 2013, OAO Rosneft and ExxonMobil Corp. formed a joint venture as well for a pilot project for development of tight-oil reserves in Western Siberia (OGJ Online, Dec. 17, 2013). Those companies areas of interest are the Achimov and Bazhenov formations.
Total has been present in Russia for more than 20 years. In 2013, the group’s equity production was 207,000 boe/d. This production comes from onshore Kharyaga field, which Total operates with 40%, and through Total’s share in Novatek, which produces more than 10% of Russia’s gas output.
In addition, Total and Novatek are partners in the Yamal LNG project in the Yamalo-Nenets autonomous district and in Termokarstovoye gas-condensate field, which are both currently under development.