Zarubezhneft, Total sign Kharyaga agreement
PARIS. Nov 27 (Interfax) - OJSC Zarubezhneft and France's Total signed an agreement on the Russian company to enter the Khargaya production-sharing agreement (PSA) during Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's visit to Paris on Friday.
Nikolai Brunich, Zarubezhneft's general director, and Total CEO Christophe de Margerie signed the document.
A source familiar with the terms of the agreement told Interfax that Zarubezhneft would join the project from January 1, 2010.
The Russian government approved plans to hand a 20% interest in the Kharyaga project to the state-owned Zarubezhneft in the summer and said it would be left to the companies themselves to decide on the terms for the deal.
Total, the project operator, has a 50% interest in Kharyaga, Norway's StatoilHydro has 40% and Nenets Oil Company has 10%.
The Kharyaga PSA, one of just three such agreements in Russia, was signed in 1995. It gives the state an option on a 20% stake.
The head of Total's Russian representation, Pierre Nergararian, said in February 2009 that Zarubezhneft might receive a 20% stake in the project, with 10% coming from Total and the other 10% from StatoilHydro.
The stake was offered to Lukoil in 2010, but the company decided against entering the project.
The Kharyaga field is producing less than 1 million tonnes, but production is projected to rise to 3.1 million tonnes in 2013.