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Rosneft Eyes China and India as Partners

Rosneft is mulling partnerships to explore Russia's Arctic offshore with Chinese and Indian oil companies, chief executive Eduard Khudainatov said Wednesday.

"We are eyeing partnerships with Chinese, Indian companies and others. I should tell you that the whole world is interested in the Arctic, this is a fact," Khudainatov told reporters.

Khudainatov confirmed that CNPC, CNOOC and Sinopec were among the contenders, but he did not name any Indian firms. Rosneft partners with ONGC offshore from the island of Sakhalin.

State-controlled Rosneft has this year struck offshore alliances with BP in the Arctic and ExxonMobil in the Black Sea. Khudainatov said he expected a joint venture with Exxon to be set up by Oct. 1.

The Rosneft-BP deal has faced opposition from the local tycoons who own half of BP's Russian venture, TNK-BP. They argue that it violates the terms of their shareholder agreement and have won a court injunction to put the deal on hold pending the outcome of arbitration proceedings.

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