Exxon to start exploration well in Russian Arctic tomorrow

Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) and Russian partner Rosneft (OTC:RNFTF) will start exploration drilling in Russia’s Kara Sea tomorrow, undeterred by deteriorating relations between the U.S. and Russia.

The companies will drill using the West Alpha rig and continue working at least through October, according to a statement from Pres. Putin; drilling will take ~70 days, which should be sufficient to assess the reserves of any discovery, Rosneft says.

The latest round of sanctions against Russia, restricting the export of equipment used for offshore oil production, does not impact XOM’s plans because the contract to hire the rig was signed before the measures were announced.

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