Rosneft, ExxonMobil to establish Arctic Research Centre

Russia's Rosneft and the US oil major ExxonMobil, two of the world's largest energy companies, today signed final agreements establishing a joint Arctic Research Centre (ARC) in Russia to support their joint ventures worldwide.

Sara N Ortwein, president of ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company and Rosneft chief executive Igor Sechin sign the final agreement to establish a joint ARC in Russia

The agreements, signed by Rosneft chief executive Igor Sechin and Sara Ortwein, president of ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company, include plans for the two oil giants to establish a joint ARC in Russia and a broad technology-sharing accord with near-term focus on the Kara Sea.

Exxon Mobil will make an initial investment of $200 million in the centre and later both companies will fund the next $250 million equally in the joint research effort to continue their work.

Rosneft will hold 66.67 per cent of the JV, while and ExxonMobil will hold the remaining 33.33 per cent.

ARC staff will be located with the Rosneft and ExxonMobil joint venture teams in Moscow to promote resource efficiency and interaction between technical and management staffs. The ARC initially will be staffed with experts from ExxonMobil and Rosneft.

Initial activities include work in the areas of safety and environmental protection; ice, metocean and geotechnical surveys; sea ice management; development of design criteria; and the evaluation and design of development concepts.

"Projects in the framework of our strategic partnership with ExxonMobil pose a number of challenges. Environmental safety is our priority, and we believe the technologies developed in the ARC will enable us to implement our joint projects in the safest and most efficient way to the benefit of all participants of Arctic exploration," said Sechin.

"Technology and expertise have been the cornerstones of ExxonMobil's success in the Arctic for the past 90 years," said Ortwein. "The Arctic Research Centre and our technology sharing agreement provide new opportunities to combine our knowledge and expertise with the talented people at Rosneft to meet the next set of challenges in the Arctic and deepwater."