NOVOROSSIYSK, September 23 (RIA Novosti) – Russian oil company Rosneft and American corporation ExxonMobil will finish drilling on an offshore oil well in the Artic on October 10 according to schedule Russia's Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Sergey Donskoy said Tuesday.
"The operations are on schedule," Donskoy said.
On Friday, some media outlets reported that US sanctions against Russia have forced ExxonMobil to cease offshore operations in the Russian Arctic. ExxonMobil said it had received permission from the US government to continue drilling on the Universitetskaya-1 well in the Kara Sea "to enable the safe and responsible winding down of operations related to this exploration well."
Rosneft and ExxonMobil joint venture company Karmorneftegaz began drilling at the Universitetskaya-1, the Russian Federation's northernmost well, using the West Alpha rig in August 2013. The drilling was scheduled to finish in 70 days, but US sanctions gave American companies until September 26 to cease all operations with blacklisted Russian companies, including Rosneft.
The United States and the European Union have been introducing sanctions against Russia, accusing it of playing a negative role in the Ukrainian crisis, a claim Moscow has repeatedly denied.