* Rosneft continue working with the West despite sanctions
* Drilling results to be analysed by the year-end
(Adds detail, quote)
MOSCOW Aug 18 Kremlin-controlled Rosneft
said it is working with Norway's Statoil to
search for oil and gas off Norway, partnering a Western company
Rosneft and its head Igor Sechin were sanctioned by the West
over Moscow's involvement in Ukraine.
The European Union banned equipment and technology exports
for new projects in deep water, Arctic or shale oil for one
year, a measure with limited effect so far but more damaging if
extended for the longer term.
Norway, not a member of the EU, has joined the sanctions,
which are not designed to halt joint projects but rather aim to
starve Rosneft of foreign financing and access to modern
A subsidiary of sanctions-hit Rosneft won a 20 percent
participating interest in four fields within the Norwegian
continental shelf in the Barents Sea during a licensing round
Rosneft said that the companies expect to analyse the
drilling results up until the end of this year.
The Arctic is seen as a leading source for future oil and
gas production. Rosneft has also secured deals to jointly work
with ExxonMobil, ENI and Statoil to develop
Russian sections of the Arctic shelf.
"The start of these exploration operations marks an
important milestone in developing the cooperation between
Rosneft and Statoil," Rosneft said in a statement on Monday.
Earlier this month ExxonMobil began drilling in Russia's
Arctic as part of the project with Rosneft
Rosneft also has an agreement with Norway's North Atlantic
Drilling to drill for oil in Russian offshore Arctic.
Norway opened an offshore Arctic zone bordering Russia in
the eastern Barents Sea to oil and gas exploration last year.
The area, as big as Switzerland, is estimated to hold about
1.9 billion barrels of oil equivalent, of which 15 percent is
oil, according to the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate.
Russia, the world's top oil producer with a daily average of
around 10.5 million barrels per day, is counting on new
hydrocarbon resources, including those in Arctic, to at least
maintain production, a cornerstone of its budget revenues.
(Reporting by Katya Golubkova and Vladimir Soldatkin, editing
by David Evans and William Hardy)