Exxon completes Russia exit, says operation was expropriated
(Bloomberg) — Exxon Mobil Corp. completed its exit from Russia, calling the departure an “expropriation” of its main Russian operation and potentially setting up a future legal challenge.
“With two decrees, the Russian government has unilaterally terminated our interests in Sakhalin-1 and the project has been transferred to a Russian operator,” an Exxon spokesperson said in a statement. “We have safely exited Russia following the expropriation.”
Exxon has been winding down production at Sakhalin-1 since May after announcing its intention to leave just weeks after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine earlier this year. The operation is hugely complex and produced about 227,000 barrels a day last year. It has multiple records for the longest wells ever drilled, uses ice breakers to maintain exports when the sea freezes over in winter and was regarded as an engineering marvel when it first started pumping in 2005.
In August, Exxon sent a “notice of difference” to Russian authorities after the Kremlin blocked the Texas oil giant from exiting Sakhalin-1, which is the first step toward filing a lawsuit against the country. “We made every effort to engage with the Russian government and other stakeholders,” Exxon said. The company expects about 700 employees to transfer to Sakhalin-1’s new operator.