Chevron deal in Russia near collapse: Rosneft

10th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

Russia's state oil firm Rosneft said Friday it will likely have to break its Black Sea alliance with the US oil giant Chevron over energy estimate disagreements.

Asked by reporters if the project with Chevron would continue, Rosneft chief executive Eduard Khudainatov said "apparently not".

"We had a normal argument between partners. We had a categorical disagreement with Chevron's geologists," he added.

Rosneft's Shatsky Ridge unit, also known in Russian as Val Shatskogo, holds a license to explore the West Chernomorsky oil field.

The eastern Black Sea oil block used to belong to the now defunct oil giant Yukos and was one of the assets swooped up by Rosneft after the arrest of Yukos founder Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

Khudainatov did not specify the precise nature of the disagreement with Chevron.

The deal was signed in June 2010. Russian officials at the time said the companies would each invest one billion dollars in initial exploration.

Initial success would have resulted in a total joint investment of some $32 billion dollars.

Khudainatov said the deal's seeming demise did not mean an end to Chevron's work in Russia.

"Chevron remains our partner. We work closely together," the Rosneft chief said.

"Chevron wants to continue working on shelf project with us," he added in apparent reference to joint Arctic oil development work.

© 2011 AFP

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