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Reuters refuses to delete article about Vostok Oil project upon demand of Rosneft

Earlier Reuters reported citing sources that anti-Russian sanctions were hampering oil behemoth Rosneft's talks with several trading houses to court investment for the development of the oil deposit in the Arctic

LONDON, January 26. /TASS/. Reuters is not going to remove an article about the Vostok Oil project from its website, following a demand from Russian state oil behemoth Rosneft, the news agency’s representative told TASS.

"In response to your request, we stand by our reporting," Reuters’ spokesperson said.

Earlier Reuters reported citing sources that Rosneft was in talks with several trading houses to court investment for the development of the oil deposit. According to Reuters, Rosneft "offered the trading houses the chance to buy into Vostok in exchange for immediate contracts for crude oil and refined products," though sanctions risks were hindering the talks on funding.

"Rosneft demands the removal of this false information from the website and publishing of an apology with respect to it. The Company has engaged a professional advocacy agency to contact Reuters on this subject and reserves the right to issue proceedings to protect its business reputation," Rosneft said in a statement.

The Russian company also declared that Vostok Oil "is not an Arctic offshore and/or shale project and thus does not fall within the scope of sanction restrictions."

The Vostok Oil project on the Taimyr Peninsula includes already tapped Vankor Group fields and greenfields in the north of the Krasnoyarsk Region. The first stage of the project will ensure transportation of up to 50 mln tonnes of oil per year, while the second stage - up to 100 mln tonnes.

The Swiss oil trader Trafigura purchased a 10% stake in the project in late 2020. The conditions of the transaction are not disclosed.

Russia’s energy sector has already been under US and EU sanctions for several years. Restrictions started to be gradually imposed in 2014. Particularly, supplies of equipment for oil exploration and production in waters deeper than 150 meters and for shale development to Russian companies were banned. The US tightened financial sanctions in 2017, imposed additional bans on delivery of goods and technologies for production, as well as legislatively spelled out the possibility of sanctioning export pipeline projects.