Exxon Mobil Arctic Project Possibly at Risk Over Russia Sanctions

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Exxon Mobil’s development of a Russian Arctic oil project valued at nearly $900 billion is at risk following recent U.S. sanctions on Russian officials as a result of Ukraine’s ongoing political crisis, Bloomberg News reports.

Exxon Mobil has partnered with the Russian state-controlled oil company OAO Rosneft to drill an oil-rich geological structure known as Universitetskaya, which contains an estimated 9 billion barrels of oil, valued at $900 billion at current market prices.

Rosneft’s CEO, Igor Sechin, a longtime member of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle, was sanctioned by the U.S. this week, exposing the partnership with Exxon Mobil to additional scrutiny. Exxon Mobil and Rosneft are set to invest an estimated $600 million in drilling at the site in the Kara Sea, which would make the project Exxon’s most expensive to-date.

A U.S. Treasury official said yesterday that U.S. companies can still do business with Rosneft, but some analysts say Russian companies could become wary of working with Western corporations in the future. Exxon said last week that the project is on schedule.

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