ExxonMobil to team up with Russian oil company

The Kremlin is reflected in the polished company plate of the state-controlled Russian oil giant Rosneft at the entrance of the headquarters in Moscow, on May 17, 2011. ExxonMobil has sealed a landmark deal with Russia's state oil producer.

Bob Moon: ExxonMobil has sealed a landmark deal with Russia's state oil producer. Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson was in Moscow to announce the deal, which gives the U.S. oil giant access to Russia's vast oil fields.

Peter van Dyk reports from Moscow.


Peter van Dyk: Russia is one of the world's biggest oil producers, pumping more than 10 million barrels per day of oil out of the ground. But as easy-to-get-to oil runs out, Russia needs more know-how to find additional oil.

That's where ExxonMobil comes in. The company boasts some of the most innovative methods in the world for finding oil. So the two sides made a deal: Rosneft will become a partner in Exxon projects in Canada, Texas and the Gulf of Mexico. Exxon will get access to help develop three vast oil fields in the Arctic.

Roland Nash is with Verno Capital in Moscow.

Roland Nash: It will depend on how well Exxon handles the Russia risks as to whether it will be a good deal for Exxon or not. It should be, but there are a lot of Russia-associated risks, and handling the government is always difficult.

ExxonMobil know the governmental risks firsthand. The last time it danced with a Russian oil company was a decade ago. That ended with a sour deal, and the oil executive in jail.

But this deal was signed at Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's official residence. There is no better stamp of official approval than that.

In Moscow, I'm Peter van Dyk for Marketplace.

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