BP & ROSNEFT: $700 MLN
BP could be close to a $700 million deal with Russia's Rosneft for a 20% stake in a Siberian oilfield, the company led by Igor Sechin further showed how national companies can cope with sanctions, maintaining ties with Western companies and progressively switching to Asian markets.
The company, which is reportedly on the verge of acquiring a stake in India's Essar Oil, showed on Tuesday how much importance it attaches to its Arctic program.
Rosneft, which owns 51 licenses for exploration and oil and gas extraction from shelves of seas of the Russian Federation, announced it completed the Kara-Winter 2015 program, defined as the 'largest arctic expedition in the world in recent 20 years by the scope and the structure of works.'
'The works took place on the water area of the Barents Sea, the Kara Sea, the East Siberian Sea, and the Laptev Sea, in the Novaya Zemlya, Severnaya Zemlya archipelagoes, Novosibirsk islands (including the De Long islands) and on the Land of Franz Joseph for the first time; they took place on East-Prinovozemelskys-1,2,3 North-Karsky, Ust-Oleneksky, Ust-Lensky, Anisinsko-Novosibirsky, Albanovsky and Perseevsky licensed fields' Rosneft wrote on its website.
The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, which will take place from Thursday to Saturday, will shed more light on the ability of Rosneft and other Russian companies to clinch deals with European and Asian partners.
Meanwhile, Shell, the other protagonist of explorations in the Arctic, sent on Monday its drilling rig to Alaska. The company also received early termination of the US antitrust waiting period from the United States Federal Trade Commission for its plan to merge with BG Group.
"We're well underway with the anti-trust and regulatory filing processes in relevant jurisdictions around the world and we're confident that, following the usual thorough and professional review by the relevant authorities, the deal will receive the necessary approvals. We remain on track for completion in early 2016" Shell CEO, Ben van Beurden, commented.
In a way or another, both US and Russia threw their political weight behind exploration in the region, facilitating the work of big companies that might have the technical expertise to take a risky position.
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REUTERS - Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $69.23 a barrel at 0808 GMT, up 8 cents from their last close, but down from a high of $69.37 earlier in the day. Brent on Monday rose to $70.37 a barrel, its highest since December 2014, the start of a three-year oil price slump. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $63.84 a barrel, down from a high of $63.89 earlier, but up 11 cents from their last settlement. WTI hit $64.89 on Tuesday, also the highest since December 2014.