Statoil, Rosneft delay Siberian drilling, while CEO Sechin added to international sanction list

Norwegian state-owned energy giant Statoil and Russia’s Rosneft announced yesterday their planned partnership in West Siberia has been delayed until next year.

Meanwhile Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin, 53, was put on the US’s sanction list over the continuing crisis in Ukraine. Sechin is believed to be a valuable member of Putin’s inner circle, at one point serving as Deputy Prime Minister. Rosneft provides a substantial portion of Russia’s state revenue.

Statoil has denied the postponement is due to the events in Ukraine, blaming weather conditions instead.

“This is quite normal in [our] operations,”

said Knut Rostad, a Statoil spokesperson, when reached for comment on Tuesday. Accordingly, the company did postpone other major projects in the Arctic last summer in the Barents Sea and Chukchi Sea due to weather-related difficulties.

As of last year the two oil companies had planned to cooperate in North Komsomolskoye, a region of West Siberia, as well as on projects in the Sea of Okhotsk, the Barents Sea, and another onshore shale oil project in the Stavropol region. The partnership is 33.3 percent owned by Statoil, which is supplying the technical knowhow that Rosneft lacks in Arctic offshore operations.
Jimmy Thomson – BarentsObserver

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