Russian oil company Rosneft and Nigeria-based Oranto Petroleum on Friday signed a memorandum of understanding at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum to cooperate on oil and gas projects in Africa.

According to a statement, the two companies will collaborate on further exploration and development of assets across the continent, in particular with relation to Oranto’s existing portfolio, acquisition of new assets, gas monetization schemes and implementation of refining, commerce and logistics projects.

“We look forward to working with Rosneft for the development of our existing fields, as well as planning new projects that will pump fresh energy into Africa’s oil and gas sector,” said Prince Arthur Eze, chairman of Oranto Petroleum.

“At Oranto, we understand that working through close partnerships and coordination helps make our projects stronger, and we know Rosneft will be a valuable partner as we move forward.”

Oranto Petroleum, with its sister company Atlas Petroleum International, holds more acreage than any other African independent and has been seeking partners for the development of several fields throughout Africa. The company holds 21 oil and gas licenses across 11 jurisdictions, from producing assets in Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria to its newly-acquired exploration acreages in South Sudan and Uganda.

Through the deal, Russia’s Rosneft significantly increases its reach into Africa, where it already holds exploration and production assets in Egypt and Mozambique. In Russia, the company is a leader in the refining industry, and has integrated operations across the oil and gas value chain.

– African News Agency (ANA)