Shell joins Russian oil project

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The Independent Online
SHELL, the oil giant, is joining a consortium of Western companies to develop Russia's Far Eastern oilfields on the island of Sakhalin.

The company yesterday signed an agreement giving it a 20 per cent interest in a feasibility project won by a consortium of Marathon Oil, McDermott International and Mitsui of Japan.

The contract was awarded last March, and the partners have since carried out a study of the technical, commercial and financial aspects of developing Sakhalin's two offshore oilfields.

An appraisal well has been completed on each of the fields and the findings are to be submitted by the end of this year to the Russian government, which will make the final decision on the fields' development.

Following the deal Marathon and Mitsui will hold 30 per cent each while McDermott will have 20 per cent of the project.

British Petroleum has sold a floor coverings business owned by Gerland, part of its French operations, for an undisclosed sum. However, the sale proceeds are not material to BP's assets.