Exxon in talks with unnamed party for Sakhalin-1 transition

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Signage is seen at an Exxon gas station in Brooklyn, New York City, U.S., November 23, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo

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Aug 3 (Reuters) - U.S. oil producer Exxon Mobil (XOM.N) is in the process of transitioning its 30% stake in a Russian oil development "to another party," according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday.

Hundreds of energy and consumer goods companies including BP, Equinor, Pepsico, Shell and Starbucks have left the country or transferred assets as a result of Russia's Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine.

Exxon did not name the other party in its filing. It was the operator of Sakhalin-1, a large oil and gas development in Russia's Far East, which produced 220,000 barrels of oil and gas per day as recently as 2021.

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Earlier this year, Exxon took a $4.6 billion impairment charge for exiting the development, its largest investment in Russia.

A senior Russian lawmaker said on July 8 that Moscow would take control of the Sakhalin-1 oil and gas project that included Exxon Mobil (XOM.N), Japan's SODECO, India's ONGC Videsh as well as Russian energy giant Rosneft (ROSN.MM). Its output fell to just 10,000 bpd following Western sanctions on Russian commerce. read more

Exxon declined to say what company or companies would take over its Russia assets. However, it has made significant progress exiting the Sakhalin-1 venture, spokesperson Casey Norton said.

"As operator of Sakhalin-1, we have an obligation to ensure the safety of people, protection of the environment and integrity of operations," he added. "It's a complex process."

A shift of assets to Rosneft would follow a path taken by others. France's TotalEnergies transferred a stake in Russia's Kharyaga oil field to Russian state producer Zarubezhneft.

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Reporting by Shariq Khan in Bengaluru, Gary McWilliams and Sabrina Valle in Houston; Editing by Anil D'Silva, Sandra Maler and Deepa Babington

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