Repsol Seeks A Stake in Sakhalin-3

MADRID — Spanish oil company Repsol is in talks with Rosneft about taking a 24 percent stake in the Sakhalin-3 oil and gas fields, a company spokesman said Tuesday.

In a regulatory filing, the company said the stake would be worth $64 million, based on estimated 2008 investments in exploration at the field.

The size of the stake would be linked to exploration work that was due to begin shortly in Sakhalin island, which is majority controlled by Rosneft and about one-quarter owned by China's Sinopec.

"No deal has yet been reached, so a successful outcome to the talks may not arise," Repsol said.

Almost all global oil majors have set up large-scale operations in Russia, although some have faced problems, including BP's joint venture, TNK-BP.

Repsol bought a 10 percent stake in West Siberian Resources for $90 million in 2006 and in the same year signed a preliminary deal with Gazprom.

Sakhalin is home to some of the world's biggest oil and gas developments. But it has also been the scene of a battle between Gazprom and Royal Dutch Shell over control of the neighboring $22 billion Sakhalin-2 project.

Sakhalin-3 is split into several zones, one of which will be developed by Gazprom. Rosneft's Veninsky block may contain as much as 1.2 billion barrels of oil and 312 billion cubic meters of gas reserves, according to early studies by DeGolyer & MacNaughton.