The agreement, which was signed during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Russia last week, includes the Zapadno-Prinovozemelsky structure in the Barents Sea and the Yuzhno-Russky and Medynsko-Varandeysky structures in the Pechora Sea, Kommersant reports.
With the cooperation in place, the CNPC becomes Rosneft’s third foreign partner in the Barents Sea. From before, agreements have been signed with Eni and Statoil. In addition, Rosneft has a comprehensive agreement with ExxonMobil in the Kara Sea.
The Zapadno-Prinovozemelsky structure is located to the west of the archipelago of Novaya Zemlya and to the northeast of Gazprom’s Shtokman field. The Perseevsky structure, the area which is included in Statoil’s agreement with Rosneft, is located to the west of the new Russian-Chinese field.
Most likely, CNPC will get a 33 percent stake in a joint venture and bear all costs for intitial exploration and drilling.
The Zapadno-Prinovozemelsky is among the least explored areas on the Russian shelf, and resource estimates are sparse. However, the hydrocarbon potential is believed to be considerable considering the highly perspective surrounding areas.
China has over the last couple of years displayed a quickly increasing interest in Arctic issues. As previously reported, China could already by year 2020 send as much as 15 percent of its international trade through Arctic waters. The country is also bidding for a permanent observer status in the Arctic Council. In the summer of 2012, the country sent its icebreaker “Xue Long” (Snow Dragon) in a historic mission along the Northern Sea Route and to the North Pole.
The Russian-Chinese deal comes after Rosneft’s meetings in Beijing in mid-February. Rosneft President Igor Sechin subsequently confirmed that “we are looking at a possible joint development of the shelf”.
The deal between Rosneft and CNPC is part of a major Russian-Chinese energy agreement which includes bigger oil Russian exports in return for Chinese credits and access to Russian resources.
MURMANSK: Ecological groups gathered on Kola Peninsula fear that Barents nature will be the looser after Oslo decided to call off the environmental minister’s Moscow meeting in response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
TROMSØ: Since the first five specimens of snow crab were found in the Barents Sea in 1996, the population has exploded. There is now ten times as much snow crab than king crab in the area, and scientists are just starting to find out how this new species has adopted to life in the Barents Sea.
The current situation in Ukraine makes cross-border cooperation with the neighboring countries even more important, Barents Secretariat leader Rune Rafaelsen says. At the same time, Norway has joined NATO’s condemnation of Russia’s military escalation on the Crimea peninsula.
Board member Amund Trellevik in the press network fears entry-denial of Kremlin’s controversial propaganda-journalist Dmitry Kiselyov could be retaliated by refusing Norwegian journalists access to Russia.