The British oil giant has signed a broad alliance with Russia's state-owned oil company, Rosneft, to explore the Arctic, one of the world's last remaining unexplored basins.
Rosneft and BP have agreed to explore and develop three license blocks - EPNZ 1,2,3 – on the Russian Arctic continental shelf. These licences were awarded to Rosneft in 2010 and cover approximately 125,000 square kilometres (sq km) in a highly prospective area of the South Kara Sea.
This is an area roughly equivalent in size and prospectivity to the UK North Sea.
This historic agreement creates the first major equity-linked partnership between a national and international oil company.
''Global capital and Russian companies are clearly ready to invest in world class projects in Russia; and Russian companies are quickly emerging at the forefront of the global energy industry'', said Igor Sechin, deputy prime minister of the Russian Federation.
BP's chief executive, Bob Dudley, said, ''This unique agreement underlines our long-term, strategic and deepening links with the world's largest hydrocarbon-producing nation.