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Lukoil says it has agreed with ConocoPhillips to start joint drilling work next year at fields in the Northern Territories contract area in the Timan-Pechora basin.
Lukoil says the two companies are currently deciding on a location for the first well, but would not reveal further details. And sources in the Russian firm say they expect a joint venture agreement to be signed with ConocoPhillips by the end of this year. The US firm has not commented.
Lukoil's claim appears to suggest the two firms are moving closer to setting up a long-planned joint venture to develop the far northern fields under Russia's regular tax regime (FSUE, 14 November, p3). …