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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Rosneft Seeks New Alliance With Total

LONDON -- Rosneft plans to cooperate with France's Total after years of disagreements over the exploration of fields in Siberia, the company's CEO Sergei Bogdanchikov said in an interview in Paris.

"We will increase our cooperation with Total. Total is a really effective company," Bogdanchikov said. "I'm sure that very soon, you will hear that the level of our relations and cooperation between Rosneft and Total has improved."

Rosneft may cooperate with Total on projects in and outside Russia. A Total-led venture is developing the Kharyaga field in the Arctic, about 20 percent of which is reserved for a Russian partner.

Since 2005, Total has won at least $134 million in claims from Rosneft, after the company took over the Vankor fields in east Siberia, which the French company had planned to explore.

"We are hopeful that, sooner or later, we will have joint projects," Arnaud Breuillac, a senior vice president for continental Europe and Central Asia in Total's exploration and production division, said at an oil conference in Paris on Wednesday. In the "short to medium term, there could be a partnership."

Bogdanchikov also said Wednesday that Rosneft plans to sell bonds, some assets and its shares to pay part of a $34 billion debt it incurred to buy Yukos assets.

Rosneft plans to sell as much as $5 billion in bonds in the second half of the year to retire some of the loans raised from banks, Bogdanchikov said.

It will also sell "noncore assets" worth about $4 billion that it acquired in the Yukos bankruptcy auctions, he said.

"There is a clear plan which way to cut the debt," Bogdanchikov said. "This is the most important task," to cut interest payments.