In a bid to remain the world’s top oil producer, Russia is partnering with Exxon Mobil and a number of other foreign oil companies to develop plans to get at reserves deep beneath the Arctic crust as early as 2020.
The deal, signed on April 18, gives Exxon Mobil access to oil fields in the Black Sea and grants Russia access to some of Exxon Mobil’s oil stock in Texas, Canada and the Gulf of Mexico. Some estimates put the oil and gas reserves beneath Russia’s patch of the Arctic at 100 billion tons. —ARK
“If you want to be in this business in 2020, 2025, you must think about the Arctic,” says Konstantin Simonov, head of the National Energy Security Fund in Moscow.
In the past month, Moscow has signed several deals with foreign oil companies designed to maintain Russia’s position as the top producer. The most important deal, and the most lucrative, is a partnership between Exxon Mobil and Russian oil giant Rosneft.
Exxon Mobil could eventually spend half a trillion dollars to look for and extract oil and gas in the Russian Arctic. The investment is enormous, but so are the potential rewards.