(Adds meeting votes)
By Anna Driver
DALLAS May 28Exxon Mobil Corp's
drilling operations in Russia and its partnership with Russian
oil company Rosneft have so far not been disrupted by
tensions between Russia and Ukraine or sanctions imposed by the
United States, Exxon's CEO said on Wednesday.
"We're extremely proud of what we've been able to accomplish
in Russia," Exxon Chief Executive Officer Rex Tillerson told
shareholders. "They've been very good partners for us."
He added that Exxon does not "generally" support sanctions
and has made that view known to the U.S. government, which has
imposed economic penalties on several individuals, including
Rosneft chief Igor Sechin.
Rosneft was not named in the sanctions, which were imposed
after the West complained that Russia was meddling in the
affairs of Ukraine.
"We're having conversations such that our views are being
heard at the highest levels," Tillerson told reporters after the
company's annual meeting, declining to elaborate.
The U.S. penalties have so far not affected Exxon's
relationship with Rosneft and the U.S. company has been able to
hold meetings with Sechin in Russia and Europe, Tillerson said.
While some Western oil companies have left Russia in recent
years because of a difficult business climate, U.S. companies
Exxon Mobil and Chevron Corp, along with British major
BP, have significant ties there.
Exxon has operated in Russia for more than 20 years,
In Russia, Exxon Mobil's net holdings in Sakhalin at the end
of 2013 totaled 85,000 acres, all offshore, and its net holdings
in Rosneft joint-venture agreements for the Kara and Black seas
were 11.3 million acres.
The two companies also have a joint venture to evaluate the
development of tight-oil reserves in western Siberia.
Only last week, Rosneft and Exxon signed a deal to continue
work on the Far East LNG (liquefied natural gas) project, which
will be fed from the companies' Sakhalin wells.
Exxon's shareholders meeting drew more than a dozen
protesters who painted the corporation as being irresponsible on
issues such as climate change. One carried a sign that read
"Billionaires for Big Energy".
"It cannot be business as usual," Gary Stuard, an
environmental activist, told a news conference ahead of the
Tillerson characterized the debate over climate change as
very complex and said his company takes the issue seriously but
he said that it will be impossible to reduce emissions to the
levels that some are targeting.
"There is not going to be a ready set of solutions," he
The Irving, Texas, company's shareholders voted down
proposals to report on its lobbying and limit the number of
directorships its directors may hold. But more investors than
last year supported the company's compensation plan for
executives after Exxon cut bonus pay.
In an advisory vote, about 90 percent of Exxon's
shareholders voted for the company's pay plan for executives, up
from 70 percent last year.
(Reporting by Anna Driver; Editing by Terry Wade; and Peter