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As the battle with Rosneft over offshore energy resources along the Russian Arctic shelf heats up, Gazprom has called on its trusted ally Royal Dutch Shell for support. The two companies have signed a deal that will grant the Anglo-Dutch company a 33.3% stake in Gazprom’s Arctic exploration projects.
Whilst President Vladimir Putin visited the Netherlands, Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller, and the Chairman of Royal Dutch Shell, Jorma Ollila, used the time to sign a memorandum, which will also see Gazprom receive a stake in Shell’s offshore projects, such as in the Orange Basin in South Africa.
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The plan is to jointly develop the North Vrangel section of the Chukotka Sea, and the north western section of the Pechora Sea. Gazprom expects the Federal Subsoil Resources Management Agency to issue both licenses by the end of this month.
Both companies have worked together before; they signed a global cooperation protocol in 2010, developed the Sakhalin-2 project in partnership, currently operate Russia’s only LNG plant together, and BP is still an official partner of Gazprom Neft.
Back in 2011 Peter Vosser, the COE of Shell, announced that the company would be concentrating on natural gas projects, with an aim to produce more gas than oil. A close partnership with Gazprom, the largest natural gas company in the world, obviously helps towards this goal.
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com