Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Tillerson and Russia: oil, a medal and disappointment – to The Point

Rex Tillerson, named Tuesday as chief of the american diplomacy, has worked for nearly 20 years to impose ExxonMobil as a key ally of the oil sector, Russian, signing contracts pharaonic and multiplying the contacts with Vladimir Putin.

Without being aware of personal friendship with the Russian president, the boss of the behemoth american hydrocarbon symbolizes these powerful industrial energy regular visitors to Russia, such as the deceased CEO of Total Christophe de Margerie, or the ceo of BP Bod Dudley. All of which are committed personally to maintain a dialogue with Moscow in a context of often turbulent, in particular, take their distances with the sanctions imposed by the west against Russia because of the crisis in ukraine.

Qualified by the Kremlin, “good relationships, ( … ) work”, this proximity gained over time between MESSRS. Tillerson and Putin leaves today to think of Washington as in Moscow, he will seek to renew the dialogue between the two powers, as is the wish of Donald Trump and the fear of conflicts of interest because of the heritage of the boss in texas depends directly on the group’s business in Russia.

– From Sakhalin to the Arctic,

Rex Tillerson was not expected to become boss of ExxonMobil, in 2006, to look at Russia. Since 1998, he takes the head of Exxon Neftegas, a subsidiary of the Russian group and the title of the project Sakhalin 1. On the island of Sakhalin, in the Far East, the multinational is investing billions of dollars to exploit those deposits promising in this isolated region of which the waters are taken in the ice six months per year.

It is with his partner of Sakhalin, Rosneft, that it will then advance his pawns up to develop in 2011 a “strategic partnership” with this group of semi-public the explosive growth.

the key to this agreement the potential income quantified in the hundreds of billions of dollars to ExxonMobil: the access to the Russian Arctic zone resources coveted, but very expensive and complex to operate. The american group undertakes in exchange to open some projects abroad, to the Russian company.

– regular Visitor to the Putin -

“Few Americans have good relations with the Russian president”: this statement of Russian public tv on Tuesday, shows the character icy of russo-american relations as much as the repeated contacts between the two men.

They know each other since the period when Mr. Tillerson has worked in Russia, which is also where Vladimir Putin rose to power and succeeded Boris Yeltsin in 2000.

At the Kremlin, Mr Putin oversees closely the oil and gas sector, which will climb in power with the boom of the 2000s, ensuring that growth rates and comfortable comfortable revenue budget to Russia. It invites the multinationals in the sector to invest to exploit the resources giant available in his country… provided they remain in the minority.

ExxonMobil, implemented from the 1990s and very early, pioneer. Promoted to the boss in 2006, Rex Tillerson is regularly received by Mr. Putin during the opening ceremonies of the deposit or at the economic Forum in Saint-Petersburg. It is during the meeting of the foreign investors present in Russia in 2013, Russian president decorated him with the Order of Friendship, a reward that also benefits the ex-general manager of Eni Paolo Scaroni.

– The shadow of sanctions,

In 2014, ExxonMobil and Rosneft to multiply common projects when the annexation of Crimea and the conflict in the East of Ukraine push the west to punish Moscow. For the american group, these measures are particularly painful given his level of commitment, and because its partner Rosneft is specifically targeted by Washington.

The cooperation between the two groups is experiencing a sudden brake and ExxonMobil evaluates its losses at a billion dollars. Despite the warnings of Washington, Rex Tillerson participated in the 2014 Congress world oil to Moscow and highlights the potential of the Russian Arctic to its group. He has done this year its back at the Forum in St. Petersburg.

The sanctions have not been the only difficulty for the oil giant in recent years as he has attacked in the last year the Russian State before an international court for a tax dispute related to Sakhalin-1, still pending.

13/12/2016 16:50:12 – Moscow (AFP) – © 2016 AFP


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