Shell targets Russian Arctic

Rosneft and Shell in talks about joint offshore petroleum exploration projects.


Following BP’s troubles in resolving legal issues surrounding the partnership with Rosneft to drill the Kara Sea, Royal Dutch Shell had talks with energy officials in Moscow this week.

Shell officials said the talks concerned development of Russia’s Arctic shelf. As previously reported by BarentsObserver, Shell is one of several other foreign companies that could take over BP’s position to be Rosneft’s partner to develop the huge oil fields in the southern Kara Sea east of Novaya Zemlya.

The license blocks in question is roughly equivalent in size and prospectively to the British sector of the North Sea.

Shell met Tuesday with both Rosneft chief Eduard Khudainatov and Russian deputy prime minister Igor Sechin.

In its Arctic strategy promotion, Shell underlines the company’s its long-standing experience in operating in the Arctic. “We believe our experience has helped us develop the technology and expertise needed to tackle extreme conditions safely,” Shell says.

Russian state owned Rosneft has no offshore experience in the Arctic and is dependent of an experienced offshore partner. Sources in the Russian Government says to Vedomosti Thursday that Shell is the only company that currently are on Rosneft’s list of candidates to replace BP in the Arctic offshore projects.

Shell has Arctic onshore experience in both Alaska and Canada and has northern offshore projects, like the Sakhalin-2 in Russia’s Far East and are in the start to develop the Gro field in the Norwegian Sea, just north of the Arctic Circle.