WASHINGTON, June 11 (RIA Novosti) – Russian state oil giant Rosneft and US major ExxonMobil signed agreements here Tuesday for joint research and development in the Arctic of new technologies to support their burgeoning partnership, the companies announced.
The agreements, signed by Rosneft chief executive Igor Sechin and Sara N. Ortwein, president of ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company, include plans for the two companies to establish a joint “Arctic Research Center” (ARC) in Russia and a broad technology-sharing accord.
“The ARC will provide the Rosneft and ExxonMobil joint ventures a full range of research, development and technical services, with near-term focus on the Kara Sea,” ExxonMobil said in a statement after the deals were signed at a meeting also attended by ExxonMobil chairman Rex W. Tillerson.
“The ARC will be a platform for development of the most up-to-date and efficient technologies aimed at project implementation in complex and challenging climate and technological conditions,” Sechin said in a statement.
ExxonMobil will provide the initial $200 million investment in the research, with Rosneft and ExxonMobil splitting equally $250 million for the next tranche of investment, Rosneft said.
Rosneft will take a 66.67-percent stake in the project, with ExxonMobil holding the remaining 33.33 percent, the Russian oil major said.
A Rosneft subsidiary earlier this year acquired exploration rights from ExxonMobil in the Gulf of Mexico, an area dominated for decades by US oil interests.
Updated at 0115 GMT with background on the size of the investment and the respective stakes of the companies in the Arctic Research Center.