Rosneft: Russia Mixes Business With Politics In Mena Expansion

Russian state oil firm Rosneft’s recent deals in Libya, Iraq & Egypt are difficult to square with any coordinated commercial strategy. Rather, the further evidence Moscow’s increased Mena political ambitions.

In late February, Russian state oil company Rosneft inked deals in two new Middle East markets, increasing the regional reach not only of the firm itself but of Moscow too.

On 20 February Rosneft signed a crude offtake agreement with Libya’s state-owned National Oil Corporation (NOC) along with a framework agreement to co-operate with the state firm in the oil and gas sector. The same day, the Russian firm agreed a deal with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq to buy Kurdish oil and study upstream opportunities (see box, p13).

In Libya, Rosneft agreed to establish a joint working committee to “evaluate opportunities in a variety of sectors, including exploration and production,” said NOC in a statement. The deal “lays the foundations for us jointly to identify areas of co-operation,” NOC chairman Mustafa Sanalla adds. By working with NOC, “Rosneft and Russia can play an important and constructive role in Libya.” (CONTINUED - 2089 WORDS)