"Exxon Mobil Corp.’s dream of drilling in the Russian Arctic may risk running aground on the politics of Ukraine.
The company plans to start drilling in August in the Arctic’s remote Kara Sea -- the centerpiece of Exxon’s global alliance with Russian state-controlled OAO Rosneft. (ROSN) The partnership, which includes shale exploration in Siberia and joint venture fields in Texas, will come under greater scrutiny after the U.S. placed sanctions on Rosneft’s Chief Executive Officer Igor Sechin.
'With Sechin being sanctioned it may complicate relations for Rosneft with Western companies,' said Mattias Westman, who oversees about $3.3 billion in Russia assets as CEO of Prosperity Capital. 'Maybe some transactions will be threatened as a result and perhaps Russia will counter and they will be less keen for American companies to work on Arctic projects.'"