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ExxonMobil starts Russian drilling with US-sanctioned Rosneft
August 10, 2014, 5:38 am

The Kara-Winter-2014 Ice Expedition finished field studies in the Arctic Ocean earlier this year [Image Courtesy: Rosneft]

The Kara-Winter-2014 Ice Expedition finished field studies in the Arctic Ocean earlier this year [Image Courtesy: Rosneft]

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday gave the start signal through a teleconference for joint drilling in Russia’s northernmost offshore exploration well. Russian state oil company Rosneft and US oil and gas giant ExxonMobil have gone ahead with the drill, sidestepping the strain in US-Russia relations over Ukraine and subsequent round of Western sanctions on Russia.

In what could be a critical development for the Russian economy as it tests the potential of the unexplored Arctic Ocean, drilling has now officially begun in the $700 million oil well in the East Prinovozemelskiy field in the Kara Sea.

Putin praised what he called the “pragmatism” of Exxon Mobil in going ahead with the drill with Rosneft. Russia’s Rosneft was added to a list of Russian companies under US sanctions on July 16 this year.

“Today commercial success is determined by effective international cooperation.Businesses, including large companies, both Russian and foreign, are well aware of that. In spite of the difficult current political situation, pragmatism and common sense still have the upper hand, and that is very gratifying,” Putin said.

“ExxonMobil is our old, reliable partner, and we greatly value our relationship,” he added.

Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin and President of ExxonMobil Russia Glenn Waller attended the launch on Saturday. The US and Russian oil giants have been cooperating at the Arctic oil sites since 2011, as well as the joint development of an oil deposit in the Black Sea. In June 2012, Rosneft also struck a deal with Exxon on the joint project of an oil deposit in Western Siberia.

Drilling at the Universitetskaya-1 site, the northernmost oil rig in Russia, will take place in open waters during the ice-free drilling season from August through to late October. The West Alpha rig has undergone additional modernization, furnished with innovative ice control equipment and a system for avoiding collisions with icebergs.

According to a Rosneft statement, the Universitetskaya structure covers an area of 1200 thousand kilometers with resources accounting to more than 1.3 billion tons of oil equivalent. A total of some 30 structures were found in three East Prinovozemelskiy areas of the Kara Sea, and the entire resource base of the three areas is estimated at 87 billion barrels or 13 billion tonnes of oil equivalent.


TBP and Agencies

One Response to ExxonMobil starts Russian drilling with US-sanctioned Rosneft

  1. Tura Reply

    August 27, 2014 at 11:26 am

    Some weeks ago I met an american in Helsinki, and we discussed about US role in Ukraine. I said to him that your government should start to seek peace and cooperation. This is a prime example of what I ment. What world now needs, is strong independended nations(or coalitions) working together with pragmatism and common sense as their upper hand.That´s true righteousness in practise. God´s work amid of humans.

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