Featured StoryThe black gold rush on the roof of the world accelerated on Saturday.
Norway's Statoil ASA (NYSE ADR: STO) signed a massive deal with Russian behemoth Rosneft in a venture that may require more than $100 billion over the next few decades.
Specifically, the company aims to help Rosneft develop untapped oil resources in the Arctic, as Moscow struggles to gain a competitive advantage given declining oil production in Siberia.
It's the third recent oil partnership for Rosneft.
"The agreement, signed on Saturday, provided a showcase for president-elect Vladimir Putin, serving out his final days as prime minister before a May 7 inauguration, and Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin, in charge of energy and industrial policy.
As a legacy of their time in government, the three deals secure capital and expertise for a push into some of the world's potentially most energy-rich regions."
The deal highlights a number of key issues for both oil companies and Moscow moving forward.
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ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM) Earnings Miss – But Investors Should Stay Put
ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM) earnings came up short this morning. The oil giant missed analysts' expectations by about 9 cents.
Steve Schaefer at Forbes runs down the numbers:
"The energy giant recorded earnings of $9.5 billion, or $2.00 per share. Those figures were down 11% and 7%, respectively, from the first quarter of 2011, and earnings per share were below the $2.09 analyst consensus. Revenue of $124.1 billion was up 8.8% from a year ago, but just shy of the $124.8 billion expected.
Earnings in Exxon's upstream, or exploration and production, fell 10.1% from a year ago, to $7.8 billion, while downstream earning, which include refining, were up 44% from the prior year to $1.6 billion, thanks largely to gains from asset sales and improvements in volume and mix."
This earnings miss is the least of Exxon's short-term worries as we head into the summer months and the election heats up. There are a lot of problems for the company to overcome all at once - but it shouldn't send ExxonMobil investors headed for the exits.
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