Rosneft, the Russian state oil company, has made its first foray into the Middle East with an agreement to develop projects with Crescent Petroleum, an Emirates-based private energy company.
Badr Jafar, Crescent Petroleum's executive director, said the two companies were planning to form a joint operating company based in the Middle East, and were looking at possible projects in Iraq. He said he expected the first Gulf-based gas project to be announced within three weeks.
"The potential reserves in place are such that it is a significant opportunity," he said. The agreement comes after months of diplomatic exchanges between the UAE and Russia focusing in part on strengthening their ties in energy ventures.