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Rosneft invites Gazprom to team up on Sakhalin

Russian oil major Rosneft has invited gas monopoly Gazprom to join it on projects on Sakhalin island, including on those where it failed to find oil with BP.

“We have received an invitation but haven't taken the decision yet,” a Gazprom official told Reuters.

The official said Rosneft had invited Gazprom to join such projects as Sakhalin-3, 4 and 5. Rosneft declined immediate comments.

Rosneft is developing Sakhalin-4 and Sakhalin-5 together with BP. The group has cut exploration activities after failing to find large amount of oil or gas from two wells.

BP has been fully funding exploration costs.

Sakhalin-3 is being developed by Rosneft and China's Sinopec. Spanish oil firm Repsol said earlier this month it is in talks with Rosneft about taking a 24% stake in Sakhalin-3.

Rosneft has last week offered to help Gazprom hold talks with the Exxon Mobil-led Sakhalin-1 group, in which Rosneft is a minority partner.

Talks between Gazprom and Exxon have been unsuccessfully going on for years as Gazprom wants to buy gas for domestic use at low prices, while Exxon wants to sell gas to China.

Gazprom became a major player on Sakhalin last year when it bought control from Royal Dutch Shell in Sakhalin-2, the world's largest LNG project, after months of pressure on Shell from state officials, who accused the company of ecological and technical violations. (Reuters)