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Statoil, Rosneft Delay Russian Drilling Amid Ukraine Tension

Statoil ASA has delayed a drilling campaign with OAO Rosneft, Russia’s biggest oil company, whose chief executive officer is the target of new U.S. sanctions as tensions rise over Ukraine.

The two companies, which signed an agreement in 2012 to explore offshore and onshore blocks, postponed the start of a pilot project on a heavy-oil discovery in North Komsomolskoye in West Siberia to next year from this summer, said Knut Rostad, a spokesman for the state-controlled Norwegian company. While the decision was made “recently,” it was due to operational factors only and isn’t related to the tension over Ukraine, he said.