ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) and Britains Rosneft announced on Tuesday a new partnership to jointly explore and develop hydrocarbon resources in the Russian Arctic, unleashing one of the most desired and unconquered drilling areas in the world.
The deal, signed in the presence of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, also enables the two oil giants to share technology and expertise and explore other countries such as the U.S.
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The regions involved "are among the most promising and least explored offshore areas globally, with high potential for liquids and gas," Exxon said in a statement.
The assets involved in the arctic include many that were highly desired and pursued to no avail by Rosneft rival BP (NYSE:BP).
The agreement includes roughly $3.2 billion to invest in the exploration of East Prinovozemelskiy Blocks 1, 2, and 3 in the Kara Sea and the Tuapse License Block in the Black Sea, which are two of the least explored offshore area in the world.
While no financial details of the transaction were disclosed, Rosneft also gains an opportunity to acquire equity interest in a number of Exxons exploration opportunities in North America, including deep-water Gulf of Mexico and oil fields in Texas.
The companies will construct and operate an Arctic Research and Design Center for Offshore Developments in St. Petersburg that will use their technologies to develop new technology to support the arctic projects.
We have a clear vision for Rosnefts strategic direction building world-class expertise in offshore business and enhancing oil recovery, said Rosneft president Eduard Khudainatov.
Exxon and Rosneft will also conduct a joint study under the newly inked deal to potentially develop tight oil resources in Western Siberia.