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Rosneft and Exxon pair up even as US-Russia relations remain tense

Exxon Mobil news
Exxon Mobil news

Russia’s largest oil producer and Exxon have submitted joint bids in Mozambique’s fifth licensing round to explore the Angoche Basin and Zambezi Delta.

“Partnerships with global industry leaders, such as Exxon Mobil, allow the company to minimize the risks in the implementation of frontier exploration projects,” Rosneft said.

If the bids succeed, Exxon would operate the project, according to Rosneft.

The Russian company and Exxon already produce oil together off the coast of Russia’s Sakhalin Island. They also have explored Russia’s arctic seas, an area now subject to US and European Union sanctions on offshore technologies prompted by Russia’s role in Ukraine.

Working together elsewhere in the world may be a way for the companies to maintain their links and grow resource portfolios even as the partnership faces such “headwinds” within Russia itself, Emily Stromquist, a London-based analyst at Eurasia Group, said.

“Overseas acquisitions can provide an opportunity to perpetuate the relationship and maintain goodwill,” she added.

Mozambique’s oil and gas sector has significant development potential following breakthrough discoveries in 2010 and 2011, Rosneft wrote in the statement. The key gas potential of the country is in the Rovuma basin and the Mozambique river basin, Rosneft said.

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