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MOSCOW, Dec 17 (Reuters) - Gazprom Neft, the oil wing of Russian state gas firm Gazprom, and China’s CNPC have signed a three-year memorandum of understanding in the oil sector, Gazprom said on Thursday.
Russia is turning eastwards, after facing Western sanctions over its role in the Ukraine crisis which saw some of its largest firms, including Gazprom Neft, blocked from Western financing and some of technology.
Gazprom Neft, which is running the country’s sole operating Arctic offshore field, Prirazlomnoye, agreed with CNPC on possible cooperation in exploration and production in Russia, including Arctic offshore, as well as in China and other countries.
Gazprom Neft declined to comment on the agreement, which also calls for cooperation in oil refining and marketing of oil and oil products.
Russian Energy Minister, Alexander Novak, was quoted by RIA news agency as saying after the agreement that it was possible for Chinese firms to join Russian Arctic projects but there were no specific negotiations at this point. (Reporting by Katya Golubkova; editing by Polina Devitt)