Russia will not abandon Arctic shelf projects after ExxonMobil’s retreat
© RIA Novosti. Press-service of Rosneft

Russia will not abandon Arctic shelf projects after ExxonMobil’s retreat

Russian is not planning to abandon its Arctic shelf projects after ExxonMobil's withdrawal, while other companies are ready to join in, Russian Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Sergei Donskoi said.

ExxonMobil said Thursday it was scraping its exploration deals with Rosneft due to US and EU sanctions against Russia.

"We are not going to stop. We need to take new decisions, but there are other companies that are ready to do projects on our continental shelf," Donskoi said when asked about the developments.

He stressed that the decision to leave was a private matter for the two companies. "On the other hand, we need more information on the details of this withdrawal, the future of the investment, and Rosneft's plans regarding its Arctic projects," Donskoi said.

ExxonMobil states in its report that it worked or was planning to work on the Russian continental shelf in the Kara Sea, the Chukchi Sea, the Laptev Sea and the Black Sea, as part of a joint venture with Rosneft. The total area of the plots stands at 63.6 million acres, or over 257,000 sq. km. The company will formally begin to withdraw from the projects in 2018. It estimates its losses at $200 million.

Rosneft said that it would continue to develop the projects after ExxonMobil's retreat, but that it would welcome the American company's return when such a move became possible.