Frozen Assets

URSULA HYZY / AFP-GETTY IMAGES

DEEP FREEZE: Foreign oil firms fear they may lose their investments in the Russian Far

Drilling for oil and gas around the harsh, remote island of Sakhalin in Russia's Far East was never going to be easy, but a political chill has put some of the world's biggest energy projects in an unexpected deep freeze. In the decade since they [an error occurred while processing this directive] negotiated separate drilling agreements with Russian authorities, ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell have gone way over budget and incurred the wrath of leading environmental groups.

But last week, the two oil majors faced their biggest challenge so far: a Kremlin backlash that could hold up or even potentially...

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