MOSCOW, December 7 (RIA Novosti) – Russian and US oil majors Rosneft and ExxonMobil signed an agreement Thursday to jointly explore the commercial potential of oil fields in Western Siberia, a Rosneft press release said Friday.
The two companies will create a joint venture in which Rosneft will hold 51 percent and ExxonMobil 49 percent, and exploration work, slated to start in 2013, will cover more than 6,000 square miles.
The agreement was signed between Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin and ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson. ExxonMobil will reportedly provide up to $300 million for the exploration, which will aim to end by 2015, the press release said.
The majors also signed a declaration on environmental protection and biological conservation in Russia’s Arctic shelf, setting out measures for safer drilling by Rosneft and its partners.
The agreement is the latest development since the two oil giants announced their broad cooperation last year in energy exploration.