March 12, 2014

Exxon's Russia ties still strong amid crisis

By Elizabeth Rosenberg

Source: Politico

Journalist(s) Andrew Restuccia

The standoff between the United States and Russia isn’t getting in the way of ExxonMobil’s lucrative relationship with Vladimir Putin’s regime. At least not yet.

The U.S.-based oil and gas giant has spent years cultivating ties with the Kremlin, reaching a multibillion-dollar exploration deal with state oil company Rosneft in 2011. Putin even awarded Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson the Order of Friendship, one of Russia’s highest honors, for the company’s “big contribution to developing cooperation in the energy sector.”

But Russia’s invasion of Ukraine’s Crimea region could complicate Exxon’s work in the country, especially if the United States imposes strict sanctions.

“As BP learned in the last decade, investing in Russian oil production means exposing your investment to largely unforeseeable risks,” said Paul Bledsoe, a senior fellow on energy and society at the German Marshall Fund. “While Exxon may have factored in the possibility of an embargo of Russian oil exports to their investment, they almost certainly assigned it a low probability, and now could pay a price in lower production.”

Read the full article at Politico.

  • Elizabeth Rosenberg

    Senior Fellow and Director, Energy, Economics and Security Program

    Elizabeth Rosenberg is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Energy, Economics and Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. In this capacity, she publishes an...