Total, Lukoil to Develop Siberian Shale Oil Despite Sanctions
France's Total and Russia's Lukoil have agreed to jointly explore shale oil reserves in Siberia.
The deal between Total and Russia's No.2 oil producer was signed on the sidelines of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum, as the Moscow Times reports.
According to a statement by the French company, seismic acquisition in the Bazhenov play, which is among the world's largest shale-oil formations, is to kick off in 2014, with exploration drilling to follow in 2015.
The Bazhenov play contains around 500 million barrels of oil reserves, as Lukoil head Vagit Alekperov said after the two companies struck an agreement.
Friday's deal makes Total the fourth major energy concern to develop Russian shale oil after ExxonMobil, Statoil and Royal Dutch Shale did so.
Under the deal, the French company will have a 49-percent share of the joint venture, while Lukoil will have 51%.
It comes amid efforts of Western leaders to impose sanctions against Russia, which however many business leaders downplay by saying the current restrictions will and should not hurt the Russian economy.
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