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The Arctic Ocean US Geological Survey via Creative Commons
Fossil Fuels

BP sign deal with Russia to drill in the Arctic

BP has teamed up with Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft to explore for natural gas and oil off the Siberian coast.

IN ITS FIRST deal since the Gulf of Mexico disaster, BP has embarked on a joint venture with state-owned Russian oil company Rosneft.

The venture centers on drilling in Arctic, one of the most delicately-balanced environments on the globe. The area is relatively untouched by fuel exploration, the BBC reports.

BP has agreed to swap 5 per cent of its shares for 9.5 per cent of Rosneft’s, as well as to develop oil rigs in the Arctic and gas fields within Russia, Reuters reports. Scientists estimate that five billion tonnes of oil and 10 trillion cubic metres of natural gas exist off the northeastern coast of Siberia.

BP’s chief executive, Bob Dudley, said the deal was “historic”:

I do believe this is an historic moment for BP, for our industry, and I believe for Russia and the wider world of energy globally. We are today building a relationship between BP and Rosneft going far beyond anything that has gone before.

Following last year’s devastating oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which killed 11 people, destroyed much of the local environment and ran up a multi-billion dollar bill BP is seeking to recoup some losses with its latest venture.