Top Putin aide was in Oslo for oil talks: Statoil
Igor Sechin, one of the most powerful figures in Vladimir Putin’s Russia, was in Oslo this month to hold talks with Statoil over its international projects, Reuters reported on Tuesday.
This came despite the country’s increasingly aggressive moves on Ukraine, and Norway’s support for EU sanctions which have already forced Russian television host Dmitry Kiselyov to cancel a planned summer holiday in Norway.
Lars Christian Bacher, head of international development and production at the company, told Reuters in an interview that the Ukraine crisis has not yet affected Statoil’s relations with Rosneft, the Russian state oil giant which Sechin heads.
“Our relationships with Rosneft have been good from day one. They are still good. It has been a very professional, business-like relationship. The activities we have on the plate are continuing as before,” Bacher told Reuters
He said that Statoil still planned to drill its first well at the North-Komsomolskoye heavy oil discovery in west Siberia this year, despite the crisis, with two further wells scheduled for 2015.
However Bacher conceded that the project would definitely be complicated if Sechin’s name was also added to the EU sanctions list, as some expect.
“We just need to adapt to that. It is obvious it would hurt with what we have in Russia today. That is a given,” he said. “Whatever happens in Russia, and sanctions related to Russia in the future, we just need to comply with international sanctions.”