Rosneft and Eni team up for Arctic, Black Sea exploration

Russia's state-owned oil producer Rosneft and Italy's Eni SpA signed a major deal yesterday to jointly explore the Russian offshore oil fields in the Barents and the Black Seas, and in exchange, Eni will allow Rosneft's participation in its international projects.
This is Rosneft's second pact in a row with western oil giants to use their advanced technologies for tapping Russia's offshore resources. Just a fortnight ago, the company sealed a landmark deal with the US oil and gas giant ExxonMobil Corporation for oil and gas exploration in the Arctic and Black Sea offshore. (See: Rosneft, ExxonMobil formalise joint venture)  

According to the terms of the agreement signed in the presence of Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin, Rosneft and Eni will set up a joint venture to explore the Fedynsky and Central Barents fields in the Barents Sea and the Western Chernomorsky field in the Black Sea with cumulative potential resources of approximately 36 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe).

Similar to the ExxonMobil-Rosneft deal, Eni will have a 33.33 per cent stake in the joint venture and will finance geological exploration work to confirm commercial value of the oil fields.

Commenting on the deal, Putin said: "This is a very large-scale and long-term project and involves big investments."

Putin, who has been elected as the country's president for a third term after a gap of four years is expected to take his office in Kremlin on 7 May.

"I want to assure you that the Russian government will do everything it can to support these kinds of projects," he further said.