Russian oil major Rosneft and U.S. energy giant ExxonMobil will begin seismic surveying of the East Prinovozemelsky Blocks on Russia's Arctic shelf in two years, Rosneft head Eduard Khudainatov said on Friday.
Rosneft and ExxonMobil recently signed a $3.2 billion agreement to explore East Prinovozemelsky 1, 2 and 3 in the Kara Sea and the Tuapse License Block in the Black Sea. Rosneft will hold 66.7 percent in both joint ventures.
"Before we begin seismic exploration, two years will pass, two seasons," Khudainatov said, adding that time is needed to prepare environmental protection measures.
The pact gives Exxon, which is already partnering with Rosneft on the Sakhalin-1 offshore project in Russia's Far East, access to substantial reserves in Russia, the world's top oil producer. Rosneft, which was looking for a partner to provide it with shelf technologies it lacks, will be now able to operate on ExxonMobil's turf in the United States - in the Gulf of Mexico and Texas, as well as in third countries.