Moscow: Lukoil, Russia’s biggest private oil producer, and state-run Gazprom plan to cooperate and bid together on offshore projects in the Arctic, a move that will weaken Rosneft’s foothold in the area. The strategy builds on a strategic partnership deal from 2014 that enables the two companies to jointly promote their interests in government corridors, news site Gazeta.ru reports.
One possible joint venture in the pipeline is located in the Medvezhe field. If finalised, 66% will be controlled by Gazprom, while Lukoil will take the rest. The Medvezhe field has a resource potential of 183bn cu m of gas.
For Lukoil, which has struggled to get offshore Arctic licenses, the support from Gazprom will boost access to the Russian Arctic shelf. With lobbying support from Gazprom, the federal government is currently in the process of amending national shelf regulations. The new version of the law is likely to deprive Rosneft and Gazprom of their exclusive monopoly position on the shelf and put Lukoil on the list of eligible shelf developers. With access to Gazprom’s blocks in the Barents Sea, Lukoil might end up engaging both on the Russian and Norwegian side of the Arctic maritime border.