Any private Russian energy firm can take part in projects to develop the country’s continental shelf if it is ready to put cash in and take risks like foreign partners, President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday.
“If any [Russian] private company is ready for such risks, it is welcome,” Putin said.
Rosneft had previously made an offer on the joint development of 12 fields on the Arctic shelf to domestic oil companies LUKoil, Bashneft, Surgutneftegas and TNK-BP. As of today, only LUKoil and TNK-BP have showed their intention to participate in the shelf projects.
Under existing rules, only companies with over 50 percent state ownership and no less than five years experience working in marine exploration are allowed to develop the Russian continental shelf. Only Rosneft and gas giant Gazprom currently meet these requirements, which has prevented the other companies taking on shelf projects without their participation.
Russian oil giant Rosneft signed three strategic contracts with U.S. oil giant ExxonMobil, Italy’s Eni and Norway’s Statoil in April and May to jointly develop offshore hydrocarbon deposits in Russia’s Arctic and the country’s south.
The foreign companies will get 33.4 percent stakes in separate joint ventures with Rosneft and finance all geological prospecting at the deposits. Under the contracts, Rosneft will have the right to participate in development and production projects of ExxonMobil, Eni and Statoil abroad.