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Imperial Oil, Exxon, BP Form Venture for Beaufort Sea

July 30 (Bloomberg) -- Imperial Oil Ltd., Exxon Mobil Corp. and BP Plc formed a joint venture to explore for oil and natural gas in Canada’s Beaufort Sea.

Imperial and Exxon will each hold a 25 percent stake in the venture, and BP will own 50 percent, Imperial spokesman Pius Rolheiser said by phone from Calgary today.

The two licenses involved are exploration license 446, bought by Imperial and Exxon in 2007, and exploration license 449, awarded to London-based BP in 2008, Rolheiser said.

Exxon Mobil and other producers have discovered more than 10 billion barrels of oil in North American arctic seas. The reserves remain locked beneath the seafloor because of a lack of pipeline capacity to ship them to markets.

To contact the reporter on this story: Katarzyna Klimasinska in Houston at kklimasinska@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tony Cox at acox3@bloomberg.net.

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