Rosneft Partners with Norway’s Equinor to Develop Siberian Oilfield

In their first joint investment since agreeing on a strategic partnership in 2012, Russia’s biggest oil company, Rosneft, and Norway’s Equinor have agreed on details on how to develop an Arctic Siberian onshore oilfield, Reuters reported on Monday.

In the first stage of developing the Severo-Komsomolskoye oilfield, the two companies expect to extract about 250 million barrels of oil and 23 billion cubic meters of gas, Equinor said, without giving a value for the investment.

Rosneft has a 66.67% stake and Equinor holds the remaining shares in SevKomNeftegaz, which owns the license.

Rosneft and Equinor, formerly known as Statoil, initially agreed to develop an onshore North Komsomolskoye oilfield in 2013, before Western sanctions were imposed on Rosneft in 2014 because of Moscow’s role in the Ukraine crisis.

Sanctions ban western companies from assisting Rosneft in exploring deepwater and Arctic offshore fields or helping Rosneft extract shale oil. They also limit Rosneft’s ability to raise long-term financing in Western markets.

Rosneft said in 2015 that the North Komsomolskoye field has “complex geology associated with an oil rim of highly viscous oil,” describing the resources as “difficult-to-extract.”

Viscous oil is heavy oil, which does not easily flow through production equipment as well as light crude. Heavy oil also tends to be responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than light crude as it requires more energy to produce.