HOUSTON, USA – Exxon Mobil has begun removing employees who are US citizens from Russia, according to two people familiar with the matter.
The departures include staff from its large oil and gas production operations on Sakhalin Island in Russia’s Far East.
Exxon last year employed more than 1,000 people across Russia with offices in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, and Yuzhno-Sakhalinst, according to its website.
The number of expatriate staff being evacuated was unclear on Tuesday, March 1. The company sent a plane to Sakhalin Island to retrieve staff, one of the people familiar with the matter said.
Exxon operates three large offshore oil and gas fields with operations based on Sakhalin Island. It has been advancing plans to add a liquefied natural gas export terminal at the site.
An Exxon spokesperson did not reply to a request for comment.
“Exxon’s Russian business is relatively small in the context of its wider enterprise, so it does not have the same significance as it has to BP or TotalEnergies, if it were to abandon its Russian assets,” said Anish Kapadia, a director at energy and mining researcher Pallissy Advisors.
The company, which has been developing its Russian oil and gas fields since 1995, has come under pressure to cut its ties with Russia over the country’s invasion of Ukraine. This week, rivals BP, Shell, and Equinor halted or disclosed plans to exit Russian investments or halt operations.
The Sakhalin facilities, which Exxon has operated since production began in 2005, represents one of the largest single direct investments in Russia, according to its website. The operation has pumped up to 300,000 barrels per day of oil and gas. – Rappler.com