MOSCOW – ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) and Rosneft (MICEX:ROSN) have signed an agreement on long-term strategic cooperation to jointly explore and develop in the Russian Black and Kara seas, and E&P projects in the United States and Canada.
Exploration work in the Russian sectors is estimated to cost more than $3.2 billion. Offshore North America, Neftegaz Holding America Ltd. has the rights to acquire 30% interest in 20 Western Gulf of Mexico blocks. Other parts of the agreement are for onshore in West Texas.
Rosneft President Eduard Khudainatov and Rex Tillerson, president and CEO of Exxon Mobil Corp., said they were encouraged to proceed with these projects by the Russian government’s efforts to reform taxation of the high-potential oil industry sectors and improve investment conditions for foreign and Russian oil companies.
As part of the Strategic Cooperation Agreement, exploration began in the Tuapse license in the Black Sea in Russia in September 2011. The seismic program is 70% complete at this point. Interpretation of data will be carried out following program completion, which is scheduled for 2Q 2012. Drilling of the first exploration well is planned for 2014-2015.
In the Kara Sea, plans are under way for seismic and environmental programs of East Prinovozemelsky blocks later this year in anticipation of a potential exploration well in 2014.
The Arctic Research and Design Center for Offshore Developments will provide a full range of research and design services to support the development of offshore fields. The main roles of the center include supporting all stages of oil and gas field development on the Arctic shelf and helping ensure projects are environmentally safe, including through the provision of technical support in environmental monitoring. The center will also support offshore safety. A special Offshore Accident and Emergency Warning and Prevention Service will be created to help prevent and respond immediately to any emergencies or accidents.