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Lukoil teams up with Norway and Sweden in Arctic oil bid

Russia’s second largest oil company Lukoil will team up with the Norwegian companies North Energy and Det Norske and the Swedish company Lundin in the upcoming 22nd licensing round.

"In December, we will take part in the 22nd round to bidfor development of hydrocarbon blocks jointly with the two Norwegian companies Det norske and North Energy and the Swedish company Lundin," Andrey Kuzyayev, head of Lukoil Oversea says to Kommersant.

The tender, which closes on December 4th, includes 86 blocks, of which 72 are in the Barents Sea. 

He said that LUKoil would create separate alliances with each of the three companies to bid for the licenses and that it had set aside $300 million for possible Norwegian offshore investments between 2014 and 2016.

Lukoil in 2011 became the first Russian company to be prequalified for operations on the Norwegian shelf and subsequently opened an office in the country. A delegation of high-ranking Lukoil representatives earlier this week went to Oslo to meet with representatives of the Norwegian government and oil industry, as BarentsObserver reported.

The company, the biggest privately owned oil producer in Russia, has for years worked for the right to operate offshore fields in the Russian Arctic. Although a liberalization of the Russian regulations now might be in the pipeline, Lukoil is still kept out of the list of eligible shelf operators. Only state-controlled companies with a minimum of five years of offshore experience are allowed to engage on the shelf, a regulation which gives Rosneft and Gazprom a monopoly position.

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