Mar 1, 2018

Behind Exxon's decision to bail on Russia plans

Photo: David McNew / Getty Images

ExxonMobil disclosed in a filing yesterday that it's abandoning joint ventures with Russian state oil giant Rosneft to drill in Arctic waters, Siberia and the Black Sea as a result of U.S. and European Union sanctions against the Russian firm.

  • Exxon said the decision led to an after-tax loss of $200 million.

Why it matters: "The move is an about-face for Exxon, which had opposed the sanctions over Russia’s invasion of Crimea and argued they unfairly penalized U.S. companies while allowing foreign energy rivals to operate in the country, the world’s largest oil producer," Reuters notes.

  • Yes, but: "With its investments already frozen by the sanctions, it was not clear what current activities, if any, Exxon’s move affected," The New York Times reports.
  • The move to scuttle joint ventures formed several years ago does not end Exxon's longstanding Sakhalin project off Russia's east coast, according to multiple reports.

One level deeper: Samuel Lussac, an analyst with Wood Mackenzie, said in a short note Thursday that the move is no surprise at a time of rising sanctions pressure. But it's a blow to Rosneft.

  • "Rosneft loses a partner of choice, which could have brought financing and expertise for the development of the next wave of Russian oil supply," Lussac writes.

Go deeper

Why Apple may move to open iOS

Photo illustration: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Apple may finally allow iPhone owners to set email or browsing apps other than Apple's own as their preferred defaults, according to a Bloomberg report from last week.

The big picture: Customers have long clamored for the ability to choose their preferred apps, and now Apple, like other big tech companies, finds itself under increased scrutiny over anything perceived as anticompetitive.

The NFL warms up to betting

Photo: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Starting this season, NFL teams in states with legal sports betting will be allowed to have in-stadium betting lounges and accept sponsorships from sportsbooks and betting operators, per multiple reports.

One caveat: There will not be any physical betting windows in the lounges, so they're more "hangout spots for bettors" than an actual "places to make bets."

Go deeperArrow2 hours ago - Sports

Situational awareness

President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump at the Taj Mahal. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images