Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content
Editorial News
Classified Sites

The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

French energy company Total strikes deal with Russia's Lukoil to explore for shale oil

PARIS - French energy company Total SA is hooking up with Russia's largest private oil company to explore and develop a huge Siberian shale oil field, despite Western sanctions and anger over the Kremlin's role in Ukraine's crisis.

The deal signed Friday with Russia's Lukoil draws new attention to French economic ties with Russia, and the French government's reluctance to punish Moscow too heavily.

Total says in a statement that the two will set up a joint venture to develop the Bazhenov oil formation in western Siberia, believed to hold some of the world's largest shale oil deposits. It says Lukoil will have 51 per cent of the venture and Total 49 per cent.

The statement gives no value for the deal, which had been under negotiation for months. The ITAR-Tass news agency quotes Lukoil CEO Vagit Alekperov as saying the companies will invest $120 million to $150 million.

The deal highlights a divide within Europe over how to handle Russia. France and other European countries with big Russian trade and energy connections have been cautious, while Britain, the United States and Poland have toed a tougher line.

French executives have lobbied their government to go easy on Russia over Ukraine, arguing that long-term investments are at stake, according to officials at two French companies active in Russia.

European companies involved in Russia are already losing money because of economic uncertainty linked to Ukraine's crisis and the first two rounds of sanctions. The threat of tougher U.S. and EU sanctions looms if Russia tries to derail Ukraine's presidential election Sunday.

French bank Societe Generale had to write down 525 million euros ($731 million) on its Russian activities in the first quarter. A French ship-building company, meanwhile, is sticking to plans to make two warships for the Russian navy in a deal criticized by France's allies but hailed as a boost for French industry and jobs.

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 0 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

There are no comments at the moment. Be the first to post a comment below.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.


Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun Business Directory
Sudden Surge: Flood of 2014
Opportunity Magazine — The Bakken
Why Not Minot?
Welcome to Winnipeg

Social Media