Having got the Americans, Italians and Norwegians on board, the turn has now come to the Chinese. Ahead of this week’s state visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Russia, Sechin, now head of the world’s biggest oil company, confirms that he is talking Arctic oil with possible Chinese partners.
“We are looking at a possible joint development of the shelf”, Sechin said in a televised interview with Russia24.
As previously reported by BarentsObserver, the Russian state-owned oil giant is under increasing pressure to expand its international cooperation in the Arctic, as it has taken on major license obligations in the area. The company has already concluded agreements with ExxonMobil in the Kara Sea and ENI and Statoil in the Barents Sea.
Which exactly fields are being offered to the Chinese remains unknown. However, the Severo-Pomorsky, Yuzhno-Prinovozemelsky, Zapadno-Prinovozemelsky, Zapadno-Matveevsky and Russky, structures with an estimated resource potential of up to 2 trillion cubic meters of gas, could be the structures in question.
The discussions with the Chinese come as the Asian superpower displays 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.
In a comment on his company’s relations with the Chinese, Sechin said that Russia could boost its oil exports to the country to as much as 50 million tons per year, Forbes.ru reports. Today, Russia exports an annual of about 15 million tons of oil to China.