27 Ocak 2011 Perşembe

Exxon and Rosneft to Develop Black Sea Oil Field


Exxon Mobil signed a deal with the Russian oil giant Rosneft on Thursday to develop oil and gas resources in the Black Sea, a new lift for Russia’s lucrative energy sector despite concerns about the challenges of investing there.

The chief executive of Exxon Mobil, Rex W. Tillerson, announced the deal with the chairman of Rosneft, Igor Sechin, who is also Russia’s deputy prime minister.

They did not immediately disclose the potential value of the deal, but said it could lead to crude oil sales to Rosneft’s Tuapsinsky refinery and other Black Sea markets.

The agreement gives Exxon access to Russian resources and Russia access to Exxon’s technology. They will explore an 4,300-square-mile area of deep water in Russia’s sector of the Black Sea.

“It’s an important opportunity to expand our activities to new areas now,” Mr. Tillerson told reporters at the announcement.

Mr. Sechin hailed the deal as a sign that Russia is open for investment.

Last week the oil giant BP signed a deal with Rosneft to exploit the Arctic Sea, and the chief executive of BP, Robert Dudley, insisted that he was confident about the investment climate in Russia despite his company’s difficulties with Russian investments in the past.

Exxon Mobil had been on the verge of buying a large share of the Russian company Yukos before its chief, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, was jailed in 2003, in a case that has stained Russia’s investment reputation for the last eight years.

Mr. Khodorkovsky has accused Mr. Sechin of initiating the legal onslaught against him and Yukos, once Russia’s largest and fastest growing oil company. Yukos’s prime assets were passed to Rosneft — now Russia’s largest oil company itself.

Concerns about Russia’s legal problems, state interference and security — after a deadly airport bombing Monday — have surfaced at the World Economic Forum being held this week in Davos.

The Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, gave a speech Wednesday night in which he insisted that investors should not be scared away.

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