New technologies Oil and retreat of polar ice with their traditionally occupied areas of the ocean made possible the development of new offshore fields, previously unavailable for a number of technological reasons. Now the continental shelf of the Arctic coast of Russia is almost open for production of black gold.
This was stated by two energy heavyweight oil industry, such as Russia’s Rosneft and American ExxonMobil, which replaced the British British Petroleum, which earlier this year suddenly lost its position in Russia and mired in litigation in Stockholm.
This immediately took advantage of Exxon, Rosneft has offered equity participation in their projects in the Gulf of Mexico and Texas, in exchange for an equivalent share in the Russian Arctic shelf development.
The planned volume of investments is huge .. The most conservative and pessimistic estimates Exxon is prepared to invest in the Arctic more than 3 billion. Dollars just to work on exploration. Tens of billions of dollars will be needed to actually start work on the production of oil. Total direct investment could reach the astronomical sum of $ 500 billion …
Currently, Exxon has joint with “Rosneft” project on Sakhalin Island – “Sakhalin-1″, which is a joint development of fields with an estimated resource of 300 million tons of oil and 500 billion. Cubic meters of gas. Just Exxon is working with “Rosneft” and the Black Sea exploration began there, and the construction of the terminal in the port of Tuapse. Estimated value of the Black Sea project – not less than 1 billion. Dollars. Black Sea and the Sakhalin projects are considered less risky than the Arctic, but also less promising.
Risks of doing business in Russia are obvious and difficult to prediction. In addition to the harsh environmental conditions of the Arctic Ocean and the lack of communication Exxon would have to assume certain obligations to the Russian side. Russia and “Rosneft”, in turn, through a contract with Exxon gets a unique opportunity to lobby their powerful oil interests in the American market. “Deal of the Century” can also seriously alter the geopolitical balance in the world and to bring together the United States and Russia.
Now Washington is considering the possibility of such co-operation between companies and countries, respectively, since there we have the first serious attempt by the Russian government to a private company to produce the acquisition of major stake in the American segment of the oil market. It is necessary to take into account the fact that Russia is not an ally of the United States. Nevertheless, the administration of the United States are not in a very favorable economic situation now can go towards Russia and to ignore the risks. Exxon, in turn, strongly contributes to the positive solution of the problem, although certainly there are forces in the United States are able to disrupt the deal during its consideration of the Investment Committee of the United States
There is also another side to this deal, not international … As the Wall Street Journal – because the United States government actually closed all access to the vast resources of the Arctic, a partnership with the Russian American Company opens an alternative line of work in the Arctic. The irony is that Exxon, investing astronomical sums in the economy of Russia, instead of development off the coast of the United States are due to bureaucratic and environmental hurdles remain inaccessible gets consumable resource, and Russia gets its infrastructure completely unequipped Arctic coast.
Currently, environmental regulation inhibits economic growth in the American Arctic shelf. The American oil company Sunoco five years, sued the United States Corps of Engineers for the right to develop one of the fields of the National Petroleum Reserve United States, but in the end was rejected. Exxon faced with the same problems when requested permission to develop fields in the northern shelf of Alaska. Just the United States is experiencing an acute shortage of the icebreaker fleet for operations in ice floes of the Arctic.
In light of the foregoing, it is not surprising that Exxon ventured into an agreement with Rosneft. But. Judging by the previous adventures of foreigners in Russia, especially in the oil sector, the path chosen by Exxon can be very thorny …
But as they say – nothing ventured, nothing gained.