Conoco withdraws from Russian Arctic

American oil titan ConocoPhillips has sold its 50 percent stake in the Polar Lights drilling project in the Russian Arctic, according to Russian news media. The sale marks Conoco’s complete exit from Russia.

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The Polar Lights project is located on tundra adjacent to the Barents Sea in Northwest Russia. When the project first came on line in 1992, production was around 14 million barrels a year. But similar to Alaska’s North Slope, production has declined substantially since then.

According to analysts cited by the Financial Times, Conoco’s withdrawal was the result of falling oil prices, a string of poor investments, and the opportunity for development closer to home in the North American shale boom.

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