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Rosneft agrees to sell 5% in Vostok Oil to Vitol and Mercantile & Maritime Energy

Highlights

Deal follows Trafigura taking a 10% stake in 2020

Project to ship crude to Europe, Asia via Northern Sea Route

Company plans to ship around 500,000 b/d of crude from the project in 2024

Russia's largest crude producer Rosneft said June 10 that it has agreed on terms for sale of a 5% stake in its Vostok Oil megaproject to a consortium including Vitol and Mercantile & Maritime.

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"The resource potential of the Vostok Oil project, the high quality of oil and its economic model make the project one of the most attractive investment targets in the global energy industry, which is confirmed by the high interest of large world companies in it and the assessments of leading investment banks," Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin said, according to a company statement.

Vostok Oil's assets include the Vankor and Payakha clusters and contain combined estimated resources of over 6 billion mt, or around 44 billion barrels of premium crude. Crude at the project has a low sulfur content ranging from 0.01%-0.04%.

The companies expect to close the deal after receiving necessary regulatory and corporate approvals.

"Lack of investment in the oil industry, as well as the growth of the world population and its prosperity, is leading to an increase in demand for energy, which increases the need for new types of projects," Sechin said.

He added that Rosneft plans to further increase cooperation with the two companies including within the Vostok Oil project.

The deal follows Trafigura's agreement to take a 10% stake in the project last year, and reflects ongoing interest in Russian upstream among Western companies, despite growing climate concerns.

Rosneft said that the project has low production costs and its carbon footprint is 75% lower than other major new global oil projects.

Rosneft plans to ship crude from the project via the Northern Sea Route. Warming temperatures are facilitating the development of the route, which ships to both European and Asian markets through Arctic waters. Rosneft said previously the project may supply 25 million mt, or around 500,000 b/d of oil to global markets in 2024.