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Total and Lukoil in talks to jointly develop Russian shale

Published time: March 28, 2014 11:24
Reuters / Viktor Korotayev

Reuters / Viktor Korotayev

France’s Total is reportedly in talks with Russia’s Lukoil to develop a shale formation in the Russian Urals – estimated to be the biggest in the world. It's evidence western businesses want to work with Russia, casting off political talk of sanctions.

Russia’s largest private company Lukoil is discussing a joint venture with Total over so-called “difficult oil” in its giant but still unproven Bazhenov formation, the Financial Times (FT) cites sources familiar with the matter.

The deposit holds a huge portion of Russian shale gas and oil, and is the biggest in the world according to the US Department of Energy.

Recent threats by western politicians to impose sanctions against Russia haven’t affected the plans of the two companies to cooperate, as Total and Lukoil were discussing a tie-up before Crimea became a part of Russia.

Another of Russia’s big business allies - Siemens - said earlier this week that its investment in the country, including cooperation with Russian Railways and Gazprom, will go on as scheduled.

Until now Lukoil has always chosen to develop its assets in Russia alone, which means sealing the deal with Total would mean a shift in its strategy.

“Lukoil is the only large Russian oil company without a major western partner,” as the FT quotes Karen Kostanian, oil and gas analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Moscow.

Total is now represented in Russia through a 16 percent stake in Novatek, the country’s second biggest gas producer after Gazprom. Now the investment is under scrutiny, as Novatek CEO Gennady Timchenko was included on the US sanctions list. Timchenko owns 23 percent of Novatek.

Comments (20)

 

Dimitri Ratz 30.03.2014 22:54

Christopher Howard 30.03.2014 15:36

because the US cant be seen doing business with a company that they sanctioned.

  


Obama hasn't sanctioned Lukoil. Lukoil is a Russian company majority owned by Americans. Although with Obama funneling billions to insurance industry at the expense of people trying to keep jobs, & $55 to 80 billion a month in interest free loans to cronies he might unless their greasing his wallet.

 

Dimitri Ratz 30.03.2014 22:37

[quote name='penelope powell' time='30.03.2014this is being kept secret so that [/quote]

Th e shale gas formations are quite distinct continent to continent. Poland was believed to have vast reserves based on similar characteristics without accounting for it not being in North America, & Chevron(?) threw in the towel after spending $375 million drilling Poland. Americans spend $6 per btu & selling for $4 so definitely their loosing money, but even if Bazhenov formation is double the cost it would still be economically viable for Asian export ($12 per btu + $4 per btu to convert to LNG to ship by tanker).

 

Dimitri Ratz 30.03.2014 22:18

DoAskDoTell 30.03.2014 11:06

Are we so addicted-to-car-toys numbskulls? we should get rid of the 20th century status quo of wasteful industrial consumption if we really love our future, our kids!

Ratio nal industrial is for a balance between needs and play.

  


In California, Citrus Heights I have great abundance of oak wood from just trimming trees, but law forbids to use them in the fireplace at Winter until some day in February despite wood having lowest carbon footprint, & that no visible smoke comes out of a well constructed chimney.

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