ExxonMobil’s big investment plans for Russia

Russia's major oil producer Rosneft and America’s ExxonMobil expect to pump their first barrel of oil from the Arctic and the Black Sea by 2020 after a decade of research and construction.

­“We hope to drill the first well by 2014 or 2015. And depending on whether we’ll find commercial developable carbons, there will be an appraisal period when we draw some additional wells and than we could begin construction,” Rex Tillerson, the head of ExxonMobil told RT.

He cited as an example the deal on Sakhalin-1. It was signed in 1996 and the oil production began in 2005. It’s a typical timeline for very large complex developments in remote locations, he explained.

The companies signed a 3 billion dollar deal on Monday to jointly develop projects in Russia’s Arctic as well as on the Black Sea. Meanwhile Mr Tillerson made it clear the initial budget could scale up dramatically.

“Depending on the success of the exploration program and how many developable fields are discovered will determine the size and scale of the investment. We expect success in the Black sea will cost tens of billions, and success in the Kara Sea could be in the hundreds of billions,” he said.

Under a separate deal Rosneft will get a 30% stake in three ExxonMobil projects in the US, the Gulf of Mexico and Canada.

ExxonMobil also plans to set up a centre in Russia to research Arctic exploration focusing on environment protection.