Russian oil giant Rosneft signed several agreements on Thursday with Italy’s Eni and Norway’s Statoil to set up joint ventures for development of offshore projects in the Barents and Black seas.
The foreign energy companies will get a 33.4-percent share in the joint ventures with Rosneft and will finance geological prospecting of the offshore deposits. Overall investment in Rosneft-Eni joint projects will amount to $120 billion, while investment in projects between the Russian oil major and Statoil may stand at $100 billion.
Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin told reporters that Eni suggests Rosneft join its oil refining projects in Europe and oil production in North Africa.
“We believe our joining the oil refining assets of Eni in Europe promising,” Sechin said.
Rosneft signed the initial agreements with Eni and Statoil to develop the deposits in April and May.
Under existing rules, only Russian 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 and can involve other companies in the shelf development through joint ventures.
The Russian government decided in early April not to levy export duties on new hydrocarbon development projects on the Russian shelf. Other duties and taxes will also be low or fixed for 15 years from the production start date.