* Statoil to explore with Rosneft in Siberia and Arctic
* Met Rosneft boss Igor Sechin in Oslo this month
* Sechin in circle close to Putin
* Statoil INTERVIEW
BERGEN, Norway, April 14 Statoil is
pushing on with all its projects in Russia, despite the
uncertainty of the Crimea crisis, and still expects to drill a
new well there this year, a senior executive at the Norwegian
oil group said.
Statoil has several joint projects with Russia's largest oil
company Rosneft, including deals to explore for oil
and gas in Siberia and above the Arctic Circle, as well as shale
oil in the south of the country.
Lars Christian Bacher, head of development and production
international, said Statoil would go ahead with plans to drill
one well with Rosneft this year and two in 2015 at the
North-Komsomolskoye heavy oil discovery in west Siberia.
"Our relationships with Rosneft have been good from day
one. They are still good. It has been a very professional,
business-like relationship. The activities we have on the plate
are continuing as before," Bacher told Reuters.
Statoil is one of the select few international oil
companies with a deal to explore for oil in Russia, along with
ExxonMobil and Italy's Eni.
It also has technology to explore for oil and gas in the
Arctic, which Russian companies crave, and is currently the only
company to operate an Arctic liquefied natural gas (LNG) export
Outside Russia, Statoil is working together with Lukoil in
the Norwegian Arctic.
Companies around the world are reviewing their business in
Russia after United States and EU sanctions were imposed on
people close to Russian President Vladimir Putin after Russia
annexed the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea from Ukraine.
Last week, U.S. President Barack Obama and German Chancellor
Angela Merkel discussed further sanctions, should Russia take
any further action in Ukraine. Media have reported Rosneft Chief
Executive Igor Sechin could feature in any future list.
"Whatever happens in Russia, and sanctions related to Russia
in the future, we just need to comply with international
sanctions," said Bacher, who met Sechin in Oslo earlier this
month to discuss their various joint projects.
"We just need to adapt to that. It is obvious it would hurt
with what we have in Russia today. That is a given."
(Reporting by Gwladys Fouche and Jane Barrett, editing by