Total to keep Novatek, Lukoil Russian investment plans


Total to keep Novatek, Lukoil Russian investment plans


PARIS (Bloomberg) -- Total SA is sticking with investment plans in Russia including a JV with OAO Lukoil for shale oil exploration in Western Siberia, Nefte Compass reported, citing an executive.

U.S. sanctions against Russian officials including OAO Novatek shareholder Gennady Timchenko won’t affect that company or its Yamal LNG project, Jacques de Boisseson, Total’s head of exploration and production in Russia, was quoted as saying in an interview published in Nefte Compass. A Total spokesman in France confirmed the contents of the published interview.

The oil company based outside Paris first bought Novatek shares three years ago and now holds about 17% with an option to increase its stake to 19.4%. De Boisseson’s comments echo those of Novatek co-owner and CEO Leonid Mikhelson, who said last month the Russian company and Yamal LNG won’t be affected by the sanctions.

Total doesn’t expect any credit export agencies or financing organizations other than possibly the U.S. Eximbank to halt participation in the Yamal LNG project, de Boisseson was quoted as saying in the interview published today.

The French company is in talks with Lukoil about a JV, in which the Russian explorer will retain a majority, according to the publication. Total has obtained rights to probe three exploration blocks in the Khanty-Mansiysk region which includes the “big potential” Bazhenov shale oil play.

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