Russia’s Lukoil and France’s Total have signed a memorandum on cooperation in developing the Bazhen subsurface deposits in West Siberia, Lukoil CEO Vagit Alekperov told journalists, interfax.com informs. Lukoil plans to extract 100,000 tonnes of oil at the Bazhen fields in 2014, Lukoil said. The Bazhen reserves belong to hard-to-recover ones, and the oil companies are about to start active operations to develop them. People familiar with the matter said that Lukoil and the French oil major are discussing a joint venture to co-operate on the production of “difficult oil” in Russia – a category that includes shale oil. There is no guarantee that the talks would result in a deal, they added. Total and Lukoil declined to comment.