MOSCOW, April 5 - RAPSI. Gazprom's oil producing subsidiary and Royal Dutch Shell plan to sign a framework agreement to jointly develop offshore projects in the Arctic, a source at the Kremlin told journalists.
The agreement is expected to be signed during President Vladimir Putin's visit to the Netherlands on April 8, 2013.
So far, only two state-owned Russian companies - Gazprom and Rosneft - have the right to develop offshore reserves. Oil producer Rosneft has recently began to actively attract foreign partners to its shelf projects.
Gazprom Neft, which is developing the Dolginskoye field in the Pechora Sea, also plans to develop the Prirazlomnoye oilfield located nearby. First Deputy CEO Vadim Yakovlev said in February that the parent company, Gazprom, had filed for development licenses for three other offshore blocks in the Chukchi, Kara and Pechora Seas.
The other bidder for these licenses is Rosneft, which argues that Gazprom does not intend to develop these blocks, but would turn them over to Gazprom Neft, which does not meet some requirements of the law on mineral resources, namely the level of state control and offshore project development experience.