(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Russia's state oil champion Rosneft yesterday struck a 2.5bn Arctic exploration deal with Norway's Statoil, its third major tie-up in a month and a sign of its growing global ambitions.
The alliance's signature was overseen personally by Vladimir Putin in advance of his return to a third Kremlin in which Russia's stalling oil production will one of his biggest concerns.
"We value our relations with our neighbours and are confident that the project will develop well," news agencies quoted Putin as saying at the ceremony. "There is no question that it will not have the government's full support," Putin added.
The deal will see Norway's state-held group win one-third ownership in a new joint venture that will explore one of the Russian firm's many fields in the Barents Sea. The agreement also covers three Rosneft blocs in the Far Eastern Sea of Okhotsk.
Rosneft said it should be able to acquire stakes in undisclosed Statoil international projects in return and also explore section of the Norwegian part of the Barents Sea.
"This agreement is at the core of our strategy, supporting our long-term growth ambitions," said Statoil CEO Helge Lund. The pact's structure is almost identical to those Rosneft engineered in the past month with the US supermajor ExxonMobil and Italy's ENI.