Rosneft said its indirect independent subsidiary, Neftegaz America Shelf (Neftegaz), has purchased a 30% stake in 20 deepwater exploration blocks held by ExxonMobil in the Gulf of Mexico.
The blocks have a total area of about 111,600 acres (450km²), in water depths of between 2,100 and 6,800 feet (640 and 2,070 metres).
Rosneft said 17 out of the 20 blocks are located in the Western Gulf of Mexico, including Alaminos Canyon 569, 612, 613, 655, 656, 657, 698, 699, 700 and 701; East Breaks 429, 471, 472, 473 and 515; Keathley Canyon 529 and 573.
The remaining three blocks are situated in the central Gulf of Mexico, which include Walker Ridge 629, 673 and 717.
As part of the agreement, ExxonMobil will continue as the operator of the blocks, being the major stakeholder with 70% interest.
Rosneft noted that analysis of seismic data is under way, and no production is happening on the blocks currently.
As part of a Strategic Cooperation Agreement signed in 2011, Rosneft and ExxonMobil, including their subsidiaries, plan to carry out joint exploration and development of hydrocarbon resources in Russia and other countries, as well as share technology and know-how.
ExxonMobil Exploration Company president Stephen Greenlee said: "We look forward to working with Rosneft and its subsidiaries to explore these blocks using our leading-edge exploration and development technology and deepwater execution expertise."
Rosneft president Igor Sechin said the partnership with ExxonMobil allows the company and its subsidiaries to access one of the world’s most prolific basins.
"We believe joint efforts of our companies will ensure the most efficient development of these blocks, with application of the latest technologies and adhering to high environmental standards," Sechin added.
Image: The deal was signed between Rosneft president Igor Sechin and ExxonMobil Exploration Company president Stephen Greenlee. Photo courtesy of Rosneft.