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    Rosneft, ExxonMobil to develop Black Sea shelf

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    Russia's largest oil company Rosneft and America's ExxonMobil will develop the Black Sea shelf together, Rosneft said on Thursday, as it also announced plans to set up a joint venture with BP to develop the Arctic shelf.

    Russia's largest oil company Rosneft and America's ExxonMobil will develop the Black Sea shelf together, Rosneft said on Thursday, as it also announced plans to set up a joint venture with BP to develop the Arctic shelf.

    The two companies will be involved in geological exploration and oil production on the Tuapse depression, which has reserves estimated at 1 billion tons of oil equivalent, said Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin, who heads Rosneft's board of directors.

    "The quality of Russian companies' cooperation with one of the largest oil companies is improving," Sechin said.

    The companies have also discussed oil supplies to Rosneft's Tuapse oil refinery and to other markets of the Black Sea region and the development of regional transportation infrastructure. They also want to conduct joint research in advanced shelf deep-water technologies, Rosneft said in a statement.

    Earlier on Thursday, Rosneft signed an agreement to set up a joint venture to develop three blocks in Russia's Arctic, known as East Prinovozemelsk-1, 2 and 3, whose overall reserves are estimated at 5 billion metric tons of oil and 10 trillion cubic meters of natural gas.

    The agreement follows a $16 billion deal to develop the shelf and swap shares, which Rosneft and BP signed earlier in January.

    ExxonMobil is Rosneft's second foreign partner on the Black Sea. Last June, Rosneft signed an agreement with Chevron Corp to jointly develop a West Black Sea license block, which includes the Val Shatskogo deposit. Chevron assumed an obligation to raise $1 billion for geological exploration of the block.

    Rosneft and ExxonMobil also cooperate on the Sakhalin-1 project. Exxon Neftegas, operator of the project, has 30 percent, while Rosneft owns 20 percent of the offshore project.

    MOSCOW/DAVOS, Switzerland, January 27 (RIA Novosti) 

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