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'What happens in Sibera stays in Siberia...unless it is covered by The Siberian Times'

Siberia open for business despite sanctions

By The Siberian Times reporter
09 August 2014

Putin hails 'pragmatism and common sense' as he launches US-Russian oil project in Kara Sea, which has Saudi-scale potential.

'I am convinced that the joint projects between Rosneft, Exxon Mobil and other companies will benefit our national economies'. Picture: Kremlin.ru

The Russian president hailed ExxonMobil as 'our old reliable partner' in a video link to open exploration drilling at the West Alpha - Universitetskaya-1 - rig in the Arctic waters. The pioneering development is a joint project with Rosneft and comes amid a major rift between the West and Moscow over the Ukrainian crisis and under the cloud of sanctions which from the Russian perspective are misguided and counterproductive.

'I know you are facing much work, and I am sure you shall do it like always at the best professional level,' said the Russian leader from his Sochi official residence, Bocharov Ruchey, linked by video to the floating rig in the Kara Sea.

'Today commercial success is measured by the effective international cooperation. 

'The business community, in particular major Russian and foreign companies, understands this very well, and despite the difficulties of the current political situation, pragmatism and common sense still prevail, and we are happy about that.'

'In our opinion, this is a truly responsible business approach, and only such an approach can be productive.

'We definitely welcome this position, and in turn, we are open for widening cooperation with our partners'.

Putin hails 'pragmatism and common sense' as he launches US-Russian oil project in Kara Sea, which has Saudi-scale potential.

Let the drilling begin - the Universitetskaya-1 project in Kara Sea started work. Picture: Kremlin.ru

The Kara Sea project is outwith the sanctions and as Putin said ExxonMobil 'is an old partner and we value our relationship'.

The launch ceremony featured Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin and ExxonMobil Russia head Glen Waller.

Sechin has said that the Kara Sea potential can rival Alaska's north slope and even Saudi Arabia.

'This project will both offer new prospects for Russia and contribute to ensuring the world's energy security,' he said.

'We can say for sure that it is highly competitive with the largest resources, such as the resource base of Saudi Arabia, and will by far surpass the capacities of the Gulf of Mexico Shelf, Alaska and Canada'.

'Universitetskaya-1 will be drilled in open water during the ice-free drilling period from August to late October,' reported Itar-Tass. 'The West Alfa semi-submersible rig has been specially upgraded for the Kara Sea's harsh climate, equipped with an innovative ice control and ice defence system'.

Putin hails 'pragmatism and common sense' as he launches US-Russian oil project in Kara Sea, which has Saudi-scale potential.

Putin hails 'pragmatism and common sense' as he launches US-Russian oil project in Kara Sea, which has Saudi-scale potential.

Igor Sechin, pictured during video conference with Vladimir Putin, said that the Kara Sea potential can rival Alaska's north slope and even Saudi Arabia. Pictures: Kremlin.ru

Rosneft and ExxonMobil signed a strategic partnership agreement in 2011.

In February 2013 they extended the pact which now covers joint development of the deposits in the Kara and Black Seas, as well as organisation of their own Centre for Arctic Research for the projects on the shelf.

'We of course welcome this approach (to cooperate) and are from our side are open to expand our cooperation,' said Putin. 'I am convinced that the joint projects between Rosneft, Exxon Mobil and other companies will benefit our national economies, will contribute to strengthening the global energy situation.'

Waller said his oil giant was keen to keep working in Russia.

'Our cooperation is a long-term one,' he said. 'We see big benefits here and are ready to work here with your agreement'.

Comments (4)

jojnjo, that is not what statistics say. Just compare GDP and income per head under Boris Yeltsin and now under Vladimir Putin. It is evident that the economy has improved in most areas, even if reforms will continue.
Enrique, Spain
02/09/2014 02:30
1
1
I don't know why he's waving his hand up there in the top picture; because the only thing he has added to Russia & the world since coming to power, is untold misery!
jojnjo, Dublin, Ireland
21/08/2014 09:24
0
3
BTS, C

In a decade, the capital from the Russian Federation will be Novosibirsk, so taxes will be payed to Siberia, not to Mosocow.
Enrique, Spain
12/08/2014 20:38
1
1
why pay tax to Moscow instead of Siberia?
BTS, C
10/08/2014 09:40
4
4
1

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