MOSCOW (AP) -- Russia's state oil company Rosneft has announced the signing of a deal with Norway's Statoil to jointly develop deposits in Russian sections of the Barents and Okhotsk seas.
Rosneft, which is Russia's largest oil producer, said Statoil ASA will take a 33 percent stake in the joint venture and will finance the initial exploration.
The agreement also offers Rosneft the possibility of acquiring stakes in Statoil projects in the North Sea and in the Norwegian sector of the Barents Sea.
The deal was signed Saturday between Rosneft president Eduard Khudainatov and Statoil chief executive Helge Lund in the presence of Vladimir Putin, Russia's prime minister and president-elect.
The deal follows similar agreements that Rosneft struck with Italy's Eni and U.S. energy giant ExxonMobil.