17 June 2014, News Wires – Russian giants Lukoil and Gazprom intend to set up a joint venture by the end of this year to carry out exploration in the Barents Sea, according to a report.
Lukoil will have a 34% stake in the venture with each company to finance exploration on a pro-rata basis according to their respective shares in the project, the company’s chief executive Vagit Alekperov was quoted as saying by Reuters on the sidelines of the 21st World Petroleum Congress in Moscow.
Gazprom was earlier reported by Russian business daily Vedomosti to be considering possible participation by Lukoil – the country’s biggest privately-owned oil company – in exploration and development of the Medvezhy block in the Barents Sea.
The two companies have recently signed a broad co-operation pact for joint exploitation of the Nenets and Yamal-Nenets autonomous regions, as well as East Siberia, Far East and Caspian Sea – and this could be extended to the Arctic offshore play.
Under Russian law, only state-controlled enterprises are allowed to develop offshore licences and the partnership with Gazprom would allow Lukoil to circumvent the restrictions.