Rosneft Ventures into Middle East

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.

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