HOUSTON, March 6 (RIA Novosti) - Neftegaz America Shelf LP, an indirect independent subsidiary of Russian state oil company Rosneft, is acquiring 30 percent interest in 20 deepwater exploration blocks in the Gulf of Mexico held by Exxon Mobil, under an agreement signed Wednesday, Rosneft's chief Igor Sechin told reporters.
The 20 blocks have a total area of approximately 111,600 acres (450 square kilometers) in water depths ranging between 2,100 and 6,800 feet (640 and 2,070 meters). Seventeen are located in the Western Gulf of Mexico and three are in the Central Gulf of Mexico.
ExxonMobil retains 70 percent interest in the blocks and remains operator. Analysis of seismic data is under way. There is currently no production on the blocks.
Today’s agreements were signed by Sechin and Stephen Greenlee, ExxonMobil Exploration Company president.
“ExxonMobil has a long history of safe oil and gas exploration in the Gulf of Mexico using state-of-the-art safety and environmental protection systems,” said Greenlee. “We look forward to working with Rosneft and its affiliates to explore these blocks using our leading-edge exploration and development technology and deepwater execution expertise.”
Sechin said, “Agreements signed today provide Rosneft and its affiliates with access to one of the world’s most prolific basins. We believe joint efforts of our companies will ensure the most efficient development of these blocks, with application of the latest technologies and adhering to high environmental standards.”
“Moreover, experience and knowledge acquired in the process may potentially be used when developing deepwater blocks in Russia, including in the Tuapse Trough in the Black Sea as envisaged under the Strategic Cooperation Agreement,” he said.
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