U.S. oil major Chevron is investing around $1 billion in Gazprom Neft, the oil unit of Russian gas giant Gazprom, something that has been welcomed by the US authorities.

“Chevron’s billion-dollar scale investment in Gazprom Neft over the last few months is a positive development,” U.S. Deputy Energy Secretary Clay Sell has been quoted as saying.

Earlier this year Chevron and Gazprom Neft formed the Northern Taiga NefteGaz joint venture to explore for oil in Noyabrsk in the oil-rich Yamalo-Nenets region. It has also been repeatedly named as one of Gazprom’s possible partners at upcoming assets auctions of bankrupt oil firm Yukos.