Exxon, Rosneft to Start First Russian Arctic Well

January 2, 2014

Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) and OAO Rosneft (ROSN) are set to start their first Arctic well this year, targeting a deposit that may hold more oil than Norway’s North Sea, Bloomberg reported on January 2. It will kick off a series of landmark projects and cement an alliance begun in 2011. They also plan to frack shale fields in Siberia, sink a deep-water well in the Black Sea and build a natural gas-export terminal in Russia’s Far East.

“We have a unique partnership,” Glenn Waller, Exxon’s Russian chief, said in an interview in Moscow. “They have the world’s biggest reserves and we have the largest market capitalization.”

The deepening alliance shows the two governments’ fractious relationship is no bar to America’s most valuable energy company investing billions in Russia. For Rosneft Chief Executive Officer Igor Sechin, the Irving, Texas-based company brings financial heft and the expertise needed to drill offshore in some of the world’s harshest conditions for rigs.

“We are very happy about the progress and pace of our strategic cooperation,” Rosneft said in a statement to Bloomberg. “Our companies are long-term partners.”

Copyright: Bloomberg, 2014