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The Kremlin is reflected in the polished company plate of the state-controlled Russian oil giant Rosneft at the entrance of the headquarters in Moscow, on May 17, 2011. (DMITRY KOSTYUKOV/AFP/Getty Images)
The Kremlin is reflected in the polished company plate of the state-controlled Russian oil giant Rosneft at the entrance of the headquarters in Moscow, on May 17, 2011. (DMITRY KOSTYUKOV/AFP/Getty Images)

Shell may partner with Rosneft in Arctic offshore oil venture Add to ...



Royal Dutch Shell could become a partner in Arctic oil exploration of Russia’s biggest producer Rosneft, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Friday.

BP is not out of the picture, he added, speaking to journalists at his residence outside of Moscow.

Asked whether Shell could join Rosneft to search for oil in the Arctic offshore, Mr. Putin said: “It can. We have worked with Shell comfortably for a long time.”

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But Mr. Putin said it is was up to state-controlled Rosneft to decide which companies it wanted and did not want to work with.

“Problems should be solved on the corporate level...For us in the government it is not important which company will work in this or any given project.”

Earlier this month, state-controlled Rosneft’s offshore Arctic deal with BP collapsed, opening the door for other major oil companies to fill its place.

Shell CEO Peter Voser came to Moscow earlier this week to discuss Arctic cooperation with Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin and Rosneft’s head Eduard Khudainatov, sending a signal that Shell could replace BP for oil exploration in the Kara Sea.

Rosneft has said that oil majors Exxon, Chevron, China’s CNPC [CNPET.UL] Malaysia’s Petronas and Brazil’s Petrobras are other candidates for Arctic deals.

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