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HOUSTON: Exxon Mobil said Tuesday it would exit Russian oil and gas operations it valued at more than $4 billion and stop all new investment following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

The decision will see Exxon withdraw from managing major oil and gas production facilities on the island of Sakhalin in Russia’s Far East, and cast doubt on the fate of a multi-tier liquefied natural gas facility. billions of dollars.

“We deplore Russia’s military action that violates Ukraine’s territorial integrity and endangers its people,” the company said in a statement criticizing the escalation of military attacks.

Its planned exit follows dozens of other Western companies ranging from Apple and Boeing to BP PLC, Shell and Norway’s Equinor ASA either halting operations or announcing plans to abandon operations in Russia.

Exxon, which is scheduled to meet with Wall Street analysts on Wednesday, did not provide a timeline for its exit or comment on any asset write-downs. Its assets in Russia were valued at $4.055 billion in its last annual report, filed in February.

Previously, Exxon had begun firing American employees from Russia, two people familiar with the matter said. The number of staff evacuated was unclear. The company sent a plane to Sakhalin Island to pick up staff, one of the people said.

Exxon operates three major offshore oil and gas fields with operations based on Sakhalin Island on behalf of a consortium of Japanese, Indian and Russian companies that included Russia’s Rosneft.

The group had put forward plans to add an LNG export terminal to the site.

“Exxon’s Russian business is relatively small in the context of its larger business, so it doesn’t have the same importance as BP or TotalEnergies, should it divest its Russian assets,” said Anish Kapadia, chief executive. at Energy and mining researcher Palissy Advisers.

The company, which has been developing its Russian oil and gas fields since 1995, had come under pressure to cut ties with Russia following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a “special operation”.

The Sakhalin facilities, which Exxon has operated since production began in 2005, represent one of the largest direct investments in Russia, according to a description of the project on Exxon’s website. The operation recently pumped around 220,000 barrels of oil per day.

Japan’s Sakhalin Oil and Gas Development (SODECO), which has a 30% stake in the Sakhalin-1 project, is trying to confirm details of Exxon’s announcement, a spokesman said, adding that it will keep an eye on the Russian-Ukrainian situation and decide what to do in the future.

State-backed oil producer Japan Petroleum Exploration Co. (Japex), which owns 15.285% of SODECO, is also verifying details of Exxon’s announcement and will discuss with partners to decide on a future plan, said said a Japex spokesperson.