Despite Sanctions, ExxonMobil Starts Drilling in Russia. Putin Cheers.

"Russian president calls ExxonMobil a 'model of cooperation' for its partnership with Rosneft in the face of Western sanctions against the Russian oil company. The energy giants are drilling Russia's first well in the arctic Kara Sea, an area with huge reserves of oil and gas."

"SOCHI, Russia — U.S. oil giant ExxonMobil began drilling in Russia's Arctic on Saturday, despite Western sanctions imposed on its Russian partner Rosneft, and was hailed by Russia's president as an model of "cooperation".

Although U.S. sanctions over the crisis in Ukraine are not designed to halt joint projects by Russian and U.S. companies, they nevertheless aim to starve Rosneft of dollar financing and ban access to modern technology.

"Today, commercial success is driven by efficient international cooperation," Vladimir Putin told Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin and Glenn Waller, ExxonMobil's lead manager in Russia, on a videoconference call from his Black Sea residence in Sochi."

Alexei Anishchuk reports for Reuters August 9, 2014.

Monday, August 11, 2014