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CEO vows BP will keep cooperation with Rosneft despite sanctions

March 07, 7:09 UTC+3 HOUSTON

BP currently holds a 19.75-percent stake in Rosneft

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HOUSTON, March 7. /TASS/. British multinational oil and gas company BP, a partner of Russia’s state-run Rosneft and its major shareholder, will keep its cooperation with the Russian company at the previous level, its CEO Bob Dudley told TASS on the sidelines of the CERAWeek conference in Houston.

BP currently holds a 19.75-percent stake in Rosneft.

"We are going to keep our cooperation, absolutely," he said. "We operate always within the boundaries of the sanctions."

"Exxon still operates in Russia with Rosneft," he said, commenting on ExxonMobil’s decision to withdraw from joint oil prospecting projects with Rosneft. "Their decision has more to do with the Arctic."

On March 1, it became known that ExxonMobil was planning to initiate a withdrawing procedure from joint projects with Rosneft in the search for oil fields in 2018 due to anti-Russian sanctions. Rosneft, in its turn, announced it would run those projects on its own, but "will support the return of ExxonMobil to the projects when there is a legislative opportunity for that."

Rosneft and ExxonMobil planned to cooperate in exploration and potential production in the offshore zone of the Black Sea, in the Arctic region and in Western Siberia. At the same time, the work with ExxonMobil on the projects that do not fall under the current restrictions, as well as on future projects, will continue, Rosneft said.

Rosneft also said that in order to minimize damage for the shareholders the two companies legally formalize ExxonMobil's exit from Russian projects in connection with the sanctions against the Russian energy sector.

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