Rosneft, Gazprom to share Russia's offshore oil and gas assets

Rosneft and Gazprom, Russia's state-controlled energy giants, will share the Arctic and Far Eastern offshore oil and gas deposits between the two, limiting access to foreign and private companies.

Under an agreement signed last year, oil giant Rosneft will develop oil deposits on Russia's northern shelf, while gas export monopoly Gazprom will explore gas fields.

The agreement is yet to be approved by the government, official sources said.

The Russian government, which favours state firms for offshore exploration,  was also planning to hold closed auctions of the fields, which could reduce cash proceeds, but exclude overseas bidders.

Russia, which is trying to lift its oil and gas output further, plans fresh bidding for West and East Siberia oil and gas fields in the second half of this century.
Russian law allows only companies which have state shareholding of over 50 per cent and previous experience of working on shelf to develop offshore Russia's Far eastern oil and gas deposits.

Gazprom is developing the Shtokman gas field in the Barents Sea and controls the Sakhalin-2 project off the Pacific island. Royal Dutch Shell and Japan's Mitsui and Mitsubishi are the other shareholders in Sakhalin-2.