Russian-Italian Pact Opens Arctic Ocean to Drilling
By ANDREW E. KRAMER
Russia took another step on Wednesday in the race to pump oil from beneath the Arctic Ocean with an agreement between its state oil company and the Italian energy giant Eni to jointly explore several offshore sites, though actual drilling is still years away.
Once seen as ice-bound backwaters, the coastal seas north of Russia have become a focus of extraordinary attention from the international oil industry recently. Moscow has signaled it will open the region broadly for drilling.
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