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Rosneft brings BP to one of largest untapped reserves

January 18/2011

(Bloomberg) -- BP Plcs deal with Russias state- controlled OAO Rosneft may give the U.K. driller access to one of the largest untapped oil troves left on earth.

Seismic work indicates the three Arctic blocks BP will explore with Rosneft may have as much as 50 billion barrels of oil in place and between 12 billion and 15 billion barrels of recoverable crude, said a person with knowledge of the matter, declining to be identified because the data are confidential. By comparison, about 23 billion barrels have been pumped from the U.K. sector of the North Sea in the last four decades.

BP agreed last week to exchange $7.8 billion of its equity for a 9.5 percent holding in Russias largest oil producer. As part of the accord, the two companies will explore a 125,000 square-kilometer (48,000 square-mile) area of the Kara Sea, north from Russias largest developed fields in West Siberia.


BP shares rose as much as 2.5 percent in London and were up 0.2 percent at 500.7 pence at the 4:30 p.m. close. Rosneft rose 5.4 percent in Moscow to the highest since April. 


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