Russia, viewed by the Obama administration as hostile to U.S. interests, has discovered what may prove to be a vast pool of oil in one of the world’s most remote places with the help of America’s largest energy company.
Russia’s state-run OAO Rosneft said a well drilled in the Kara Sea region of the Arctic Ocean with Exxon Mobil Corp. struck oil, showing the region has the potential to become one of the world’s most important crude-producing areas.
The announcement was made by Igor Sechin, Rosneft’s chief executive officer, who spent two days sailing on a Russian research ship to the drilling rig where the find was unveiled today. The well found about 1 billion barrels of oil and similar geology nearby means the surrounding area may hold more than the U.S. part of the Gulf or Mexico, he said.
“It exceeded our expectations,” Sechin said in an interview. This discovery is of “exceptional significance in showing the presence of hydrocarbons in the Arctic.”