Rosneft (ROSN.MM) and BP (BP.L) signed an agreement on Saturday to jointly explore for hard-to-recover oil in Russia, the first major deal for the state-run Russian oil company since the West imposed sanctions over Ukraine in March.
Rosneft chief executive Igor Sechin, a close ally of President Vladimir Putin, has been targeted by U.S. sanctions along with some other members of Putin's so-called inner circle following Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in March.
"Business as usual "
Moscow is hoping to repeat the shale oil boom in the United States, which changed the global energy landscape as Washington is gradually cutting oil imports and preparing to start exports, pushing other producers like Russia to forge closer business ties with Asia.
With Putin attending the ceremony, Sechin and BP Russia head David Campbell signed an agreement at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum to jointly explore for hard-to-recover oil in the Volga-Urals region of central Russia.
[Read Full Article: Rosneft, BP agree to explore for shale oil in Russia amid sanctions]