Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) and OAO Rosneft (ROSN) are set to start their first Arctic well this year, targeting a deposit that may hold more oil than Norway’s North Sea. It will kick off a series of landmark projects and cement an alliance begun in 2011. They also plan to frack shale fields in Siberia, sink a deep-water well in the Black Sea and build a natural-gas export terminal in Russia’s Far East.
This also adds a bit of context to the whole Arctic 30 Saga: a clear shot over the bow (literally) of anyone that challenges or disrupts Russia's - and, by default, Exxon's - oil and energy ambitions.
Ironically, I saw a picture today of Putin and Medvedev drinking tea during a skiing holiday.