France's oil group Total Compagnie Francaise des Petroles SA, Belgium's Petrofina SA and Spain's Repsol SA will set up a European joint venture to cooperate on oil and gas developments in the Soviet Union, Serge Tchuruk, Total's president, said Thursday.
Mr. Tchuruk said the three companies will be equal partners in the venture.''We bring as a wedding gift (to the new venture) the agreement Total signed last December with the U.S.S.R. regarding oil exploration and production in the Soviet Union," he said.
In December 1990, Total signed a production-sharing agreement with an official Soviet organization, Ukhtaneftegasgeologia, covering 5,000 square kilometers (1,923 square miles) in the Timan Pechora area in the Komis Republic.
Crude oil production should start in 1991, Mr. Tchuruk said, adding that he hoped for initial output of 1 million tons. Total already has sent pipelines to the region as part of the agreement.
Repsol also signed an agreement with the Soviet Union last November on technical cooperation in the Turkmenistan Republic. That pact may eventually evolve into an exploration and production contract, Mr. Tchuruk said.