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Spain's Repsol pulls out of planned Arctic JV in Russia

The logo of the Spanish energy giant Repsol SA is seen during the opening ceremony of its first gas station in Mexico City

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Spain's Repsol <REP.MC> has pulled out of a planned joint venture to develop two Arctic oil blocks with Russia's Gazprom Neft <SIBN.MM> and Royal Dutch Shell <RDSa.L>, a spokesman at Repsol said on Friday.

Gazprom Neft, the oil arm of Russian gas giant Gazprom <GAZP.MM>, Repsol and Shell signed a memorandum of understanding last June on establishing a joint venture to develop the Leskinsky and Pukhutsyayakhsky blocks on the Gydan Peninsula in northern Siberia.

A deal on the venture, in which Gazprom Neft would hold a 50% stake and Repsol and Shell each own 25%, was expected to close this year.

"Its an option we had on a well we are choosing not to exercise," Repsol's spokesman said.

A source at Gazprom Neft said the Russian company will continue to cooperate with Shell on the assets.

"Repsol has informed Gazprom Neft that at the moment, it does not consider a possibility of participation in the project," the source said.

Gazprom Neft declined to comment.


(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin and Isla Binnie; Editing by Susan Fenton)