(Corrects to withdraw erroneous reference in the 2nd para that the executive was born in the U.S.)
MOSCOW, Oct 17 (Reuters) - An Exxon Mobil executive has taken up the newly created position of offshore projects chief at Rosneft, which is gearing up for exploration in Arctic seas, Russia’s biggest oil producer said on Wednesday.
It said Zeljko Runje, who has been working at Exxon and Rosneft’s joint venture to produce oil and gas on the Russian Pacific island of Sakhalin, has been appointed to the position of vice president for offshore projects at Rosneft.
State-controlled Rosneft has recently struck up multi-billion dollar exploration and development deals with Western majors, including Exxon, Norway’s Statoil and Italy’s Eni.
Rosneft, the holder of the world’s largest oil reserves, has been aggressively pursuing expansion plans under the leadership of powerful chief executive Igor Sechin, a confidant of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Earlier on Wednesday a source told Reuters that Rosneft has offered to buy into Anglo-Russian crude producer TNK-BP , proposing $28 billion for a 50 percent stake . (Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Greg Mahlich)