Norway’s Statoil strengthens ties with Russia’s Rosneft

April 3, 2014

Oslo called off its environmental minister’s visit to Moscow, cancels military cooperation, but has no objections that Statoil expands cooperation in the Barents Sea with one of Putin’s most important source of income, Barents Observer reported on April 2. Rosneft. Igor Sechin and Helge Lund met in Norway on March 31.

While Statoil has posted no information about the meeting, Rosneft has posted both info and photos at its portal. According to Rosneft, Sechin discussed with Lund the possibilities to expand the cooperation between Rosneft and Statoil. The two oil majors have teamed up for joint projects in in the Arctic, including the Barents Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk.

The two parties discussed how to accomplish the Barents Sea projects. Igor Sechin told Helge Lund about how Russia’s new hydrocarbons exploration and development tax incentives would make the development of offshore fields in Russia 2.5 times more efficient.

The charm offensive by Rosneft’s top chief and Putin allied Igor Sechin started after Russia’s annexation of Crimea. In addition to Norway, Sechin’s globetrotting included five countries. The tour started in Japan, continues to South Korea, then Vietnam, then India before Monday’s Statoil talks in Norway. After Norway, he subsequently continued to London where discussions took place with the offshore drilling company Seadrill on expanding cooperation.

Rosneft hopes Statoil can aid in offshore Arctic exploration, an area Rosneft has no experiences and where Statoil is world-leading, especially with sub-sea installations. Offshore exploration in the Arctic is, together with shale oil development, critical for Rosneft if Russia hopes to maintain its output of 10 million barrels a day, and by that keep up important revenues for the state budget.

Copyright: Barents Observer, 2014