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Sanctions Backfire! Exxon May Miss Out on Huge Arctic Oil Find

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The recent oil discovery in the Arctic which we reported on today -- characterized as one of the largest finds in history -- is welcome news at the Kremlin, all the more so because Western sanctions have once again shown themselves to be imprudent.

Exxon, which partnered with Rosneft to drill the Universitetskaya-1, is now effectively barred from futher development or exploration in the region. The Moscow Times elaborates:  

The sanctions, introduced by the United States and European Union, effectively freeze access by Russian companies to foreign technology and ban Western companies from cooperating in the Arctic, as well as in shale exploration and deep-water drilling.

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The prospect of sanctions on Russia has been a big issue for Exxon this year. It spent $6 million on lobbying the U.S. government in the first half of 2014 and listed Russian sanctions as one of its lobbying issues, according to disclosures filed to the U.S. Senate.

Exxon also paid about another $170,000 to four outside firms for lobbying in the second quarter, largely tied to Russian sanctions, the disclosures show.

Considering that Rosneft boss Igor Sechin has been personally targeted by the sanctions, it's no surprise that Exxon is frantically trying to restore normal relations with Russia. 


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