30 Oct 2009 16:24

Rosneft plans to invite foreign partner into project on Black Sea shelf

MOSCOW. Oct 27 (Interfax) - Rosneft plans to bring in a foreign partner to implement the Black Sea shelf project, President Sergei Bogdanchikov told journalists.

"We would like to have a partner on the Black Sea, because we believe that region has appeal for them," Bogdanchikov said, without specifying which of two projects in the Black Sea he was referring to.

Managers from the majority of the foreign oil companies have visited Rosneft's data room, he said. Talks are currently underway with senior officials at seven-eight companies, he said.

Rosneft subsidiary RN Kazakhstan is planning to develop the Tuapse trench. The company is also in charge of Rosneft projects in Irkutsk region. "It's a normal scheme for management of the project," he said.

Rosneft has two projects on the Black Sea shelf: Tuapse trench (development of the Tuapse section) and Shatsky Val (West-Black Sea). The company plans to drill two exploration wells at the West-Black Sea section in 2010-2011.

Rosneft received the exploration license to the Tuapse trench section in August 2003, which has been extended until August 2010. The section covers 12,047 square kilometers in waters from 500 to 2,000 meters deep.

Development of Tuapse trench will require major capital investment owing to the fact Russian contractors lack experience working at such depths.

Bogdanchikov mentioned the possibility of bringing a foreign company into the project in 2006. Shell and ConocoPhillips were two of the companies in contention, according to unofficial reports.

The license to the West-Black Sea license territory is held by Shatsky Val LLC, a company Rosneft acquired last year in the Yukos bankruptcy. About 10 structures have been identified in the block, the largest of which are the North-Black Sea, Mariya, and Sklonovaya with a forecast resource of over 500 million tonnes. Water depths in the area range from 1,200 to 2,000 meters.