31 Aug 2011

Arctic oil exploration deal signed

7:45 am on 31 August 2011

Exxon Mobil has signed an Arctic oil exploration deal with Rosneft, a state-owned oil company in Russia.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday it would also allow Rosneft to develop fields in the Gulf of Mexico and Texas, according to local media reports.

''New horizons are opening up. One of the world's leading companies, Exxon Mobil, is starting to work on Russia's strategic shelf and deepwater continental shelf,'' he said.

Under the agreement, the two companies will spend $US3.2 billion on deep-sea exploration in the East Prinovozemelsky region of the Kara Sea, as well as in the Russian Black Sea.

Exxon described these areas as ''among the most promising and least explored offshore areas globally, with high potential for liquids and gas''.

The BBC reports the two companies will also co-operate on the development of oil fields in Western Siberia.