MOSCOW, September 23 (RIA Novosti) - French oil and gas company Total has halted a joint venture with Russian Lukoil to explore shale oil in the west of Siberia, The Financial Times reported.
"The Lukoil joint venture is definitely stopped. But it hadn't started so it doesn't have any impact [on Total]," Christopher de Margerie, Total's CEO, told The Financial Times.
The joint project to explore shale oil was agreed upon by Total and Lukoil at the end of May was to be carried out in the licensed Galyanovsk field. So far, Lukoil have declined to comment on the matter.
The move comes despite assurances by Jacques de Boisseson, Total's head of exploration and production in Russia, that the company would continue operations in Russia despite the western sanctions.
The latest round of Western sanctions against Russia were imposed on September 12. The sanctions targeted the country's largest banks, oil and defense companies, as well as certain individuals.