Rosneft acquires 30 % stake in ExxonMobil's Gulf of Mexico blocks

Russian oil major Rosneft has acquired a 30-per cent interest in global oil giant Exxon Mobil Corp's 20 oil exploration blocks in deep water Gulf of Mexico, gaining access to one of the most prolific oil basins in the world.

Neftegaz America Shelf LP, an indirect independent subsidiary of Rosneft, signed the exploration deal, which covers an area of approximately 450 at sea depths varying from 640 metres to 2,070 metres.

Irving, Texas-based Exxon Mobil is the operator of the blocks with 70-per cent stake. 17 blocks are located in the Western Gulf of Mexico while the remaining three are in the Central Gulf of Mexico. Seismic data from the Gulf of Mexico fields is being analysed, ExxonMobil said.

The companies have not disclosed the financial details of the transaction.

Exxon Mobil Exploration Co's president Stephen Greenlee said, ''We look forward to working with Rosneft and its subsidiaries to explore these blocks using our leading-edge exploration and development technology and deepwater execution expertise.''

''This agreement provides Rosneft and its subsidiaries with access to one of the world's most prolific basins,''  Rosneft president Igor Sechin said.