Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) is abandoning the Sakhalin-1 oil project in Russia. As Exxon walks away from assets worth $4 billion, investors are once again looking at Rosneft (OTCMKTS:OJSCY). Rosneft stock has been on a bumpy ride today, currently down 15%.
So what do you need to know?
As part of this, these three oil giants have walked away from operations in Russia. BP already shed its stake in Rosneft, and Shell announced it would end its partnership with Gazprom (OTCMKTS:OGZPY). For each of these companies, the decisions translate to billions of dollars in lost assets.
One challenge that these companies face is how to exit their stakes in Russian companies and oil projects. Exxon CEO Darren Woods said that the process of leaving Russia would be “complicated” and take time. As Bloomberg reported, these companies will face a tough time finding buyers for what they are offloading. Woods said this about the situation:
“As the operator of Sakhalin-1, we have a significant responsibility to make sure that that operation is run safely, and the integrity of the environmental performance and the operations itself is sound. That will be a very thoughtful process, working with our co-venturers to make sure that that operation is handed over successfully and without incident.”
Rosneft Stock Sees Continued Volatility
Where does Rosneft come into the picture? Importantly, Rosneft affiliates partner with Exxon and others on the Sakhalin-1 project. As Bloomberg reported, part of Exxon’s decision to leave Russia comes with ceding its stake to Rosneft and other partners.
Since Feb. 17, Rosneft stock has shed more than 60%. With partner companies walking away from projects and sizable stakes, it seems investors view its future as highly uncertain. We have also seen the same thing play out with other Russian stocks, such as Sberbank (OTCMKTS:SBRCY). SBRCY stock is down more than 70% over the past five trading days.
Right now, it is unclear how Rosneft will proceed and what the future will hold for Sakhalin-1. It is also unclear what Exxon, BP and Shell will do as they exit their Russian operations. One thing that does seem certain is that investors will be closely watching the oil and gas space in the coming days.
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On the date of publication, Shrey Dua did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.