Oil and Gas

UPDATE 1-Russia's Rosneft CEO says Exxon's Sakhalin-1 operations safe

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MILAN, June 10 (Reuters) - The head of Russia’s Rosneft , a shareholder in the ExxonMobil-led Sakhalin-1 oil and gas project, said on Wednesday he saw no problems arising from a the government’s check on operations there.

Kommersant daily had reported that Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich planned to hold a meeting later on Wednesday to discuss the preliminary results of checks at the offshore projects of Sakhalin-2, led by Gazprom, and Sakhalin-1.

Similar checks on compliance led to Shell ceding its control of Sakhalin-2 to Kremlin-controlled Gazprom in 2006.

Rosneft chief Igor Sechin said on Wednesday that Sakhalin-1 operations respected all the regulations.

“I’m sure, the operational activity in Sakhalin-1 project was carried out in strict line with all the requirements of ecological oversight, with requirements on resource usage, on the production’s effectiveness,” he told reporters.

“That’s why we don’t expect any problems there,” he said when asked if Rosneft could take over from Exxon as the Sakhalin-1 operator.

Other participants in Sakhalin-1, which is operated under a production sharing agreement, are Japan’s Sodeco and India’s ONGC.

In April, Exxon lodged a claim against Russia at the Stockholm arbitrage court as part of a tax dispute over Sakhalin-1.

Exxon believed it had overpaid taxes on profits from Sakhalin-1, in which it owns a 30 percent stake, and was seeking a tax cut and reimbursement of some taxes already paid, according to local media. (Reporting by Denis Dyomkin; Writing by Katya Golubkova and Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)