Switzerland’s Vitol sells stake in giant Russian Arctic oil project

The company said sold its 5 percent interest in the Vostok oil project to Dubai's Fossil Trading.

By Reuters - January 3, 2023
Swiss-based Vitol has sold its stake in Rosneft’s Vostok oil project to a Dubai company. (Dado Ruvic / Illustration / Reuters File Photo)

LONDON — Global commodities trader Vitol has sold its interest in the giant Vostok Oil project in the Russian Arctic, led by the Kremlin-controlled energy major Rosneft, to Dubai-based trader Fossil Trading, Vitol said last week.

It didn’t disclose other details of the transaction. Vitol had bought 5 percent of Vostok with its partner, Mercantile & Maritime Group, in 2021 for $4 billion.

The sale follows a divestment by rival trader Trafigura of a 10 percent stake in Vostok earlier this year following Western-led sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

Rosneft is leading the Vostok project that is comparable in size with the exploration of West Siberia in the 1970s or the U.S. Bakken oil region over the past decade.

Dubai-based Fossil Trading is the parent company of Geneva-based Energopole SA, according to the website of Energopole.

Rosneft said earlier this year that Energopole was its wholy-owned subsidiary. It wasn’t clear, however, what was the relationship between Rosneft, Energopole and Fossil Trading at the time of the transaction with Vitol.

Vitol declined further comment. Rosneft, Energopole and Fossil Trading were not immediately available for comment.

Reporting by Dmitry Zhdannikov.

This article has been fact-checked by Arctic Today and Polar Research and Policy Initiative, with the support of the EMIF managed by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

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