ExxonMobil to spend $300 million on Rosneft tight oil pilot

Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) plans to spend as much as $300 million on a pilot project with OAO Rosneft to tap tight oil resources in Russia.

State-run Rosneft will own 51 percent and Exxon will hold 49 percent of the venture that will explore the Achimov and Bazhenov formations in western Siberia next year, according to a statement today. The work will focus on 23 license blocks.

Exxon formed a partnership with Rosneft last year in which the Irving, Texas-based company also gained access to offshore deposits in Russia’s frontier Arctic and Black Sea region. Russia, which vies with Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest oil producer, may overhaul its tax system to support tight oil production, according to Rosneft.

The partnership will select blocks for commercial development in 2015.