Statoil and Rosneft have signed a basic agreement to work together on the shelf of the Barents Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk. Partners create a joint venture for exploration in the fields, which will be paid by Statoil. The company estimates the minimum amount of investment at $600-950 million, largely the work will take place in the Sea of Okhotsk. Just left its previous major project in Russia – for the development of the Shtokman field with “Gazprom” – Statoil is rushing to gain a foothold in new ones. But experts believe that Statoil is riskier than the other partners of Rosneft.
On Thursday in Stavanger Statoil and Rosneft entered into a shareholders agreement and transaction in which to set up joint venture for work on four offshore sites in Russia. This are Perseevsky (Barents Sea), Kashevarovsky, Lisyansky plots and Magadan-1 (Sea of Okhotsk). On the Russian side document was signed by Igor Sechin (the president of Rosneft), on the Norwegian side by Helge Lund (CEO of Statoil). Agreements are identical: Rosneft will own 66.67% of the share capital in each of the joint venture, while the share of Statoil is 33,33%. In this case, the Norwegian company covers 100% of the cost of exploration programs, including mandatory drilling of six exploratory wells in the years 2016-2021. The documents are continuation of the cooperation agreement signed on May 5 between the companies.
Resources of Perseevsky area – more than 2 billion tons of oil equivalent (CE), and sites in the northern part of Sea of Okhotsk – Magadan-1, Lisiansky, and Kashevarovsky – 1.4 billion tonnes (CE). Drilling of one well is estimated by Statoil at $ 100-150 million. Tim Dobson, head of the department of geological exploration in the Norwegian company said that most of the work will take place in the Sea of Okhotsk.
According to Igor Sechin, «the pace of implementation of the agreement with Statoil are encouraging.» Since the signing of the basic instrument of cooperation between the Statoil and Rosneft took only three months (during which Statoil has had time to get out of the joint with “Gazprom”’s Shtokman gas field in the Barents Sea). At the same time projects with Statoil carry a high risk: the depth of field, which fell to ExxonMobil, is not that big and the climatic conditions are not as sever, even in the Kara Sea. Rosneft and ExxonMobil have already begun work on joint oilfields.
Under the terms of the framework agreement Rosneft should also receive assets from Statoil, but none of the parties disclosed this information. According to Reuters, Statoil has promised Rosneft share in the exploration and production projects in the North Sea, as well as parts of the Norwegian part of the Barents Sea. The Norwegian company made it clear that at the moment the exact list of assets for the exchange is not determined. It took eight months for similar talks between Rosneft and ExxonMobil – from the conclusion of a strategic cooperation agreement in August 2011, before the adoption of the list of assets on the exchange in April 2012.