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Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree to transfer operations of the Sakhalin-1 oil and gas project in the Russian Far East to a new operator, reported Bloomberg News.

The move would result in American energy firm Exxon Mobil’s final withdrawal from Russia and would give authority to the Russian government to decide the continuity of foreign shareholders in the project.

Exxon currently owns a 30% operatorship stake in the Sakhalin-1 project. Other partners include Rosneft affiliates RN-Astra (8.5%), the Japanese SODECO Consortium (30%), Sakhalinmorneftegaz-Shelf (11.5%), and India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) overseas arm ONGC Videsh (20%).

The new decree will see the establishment of a new Russian company which will be managed by Rosneft subsidiary Sakhalinmorneftegaz-Shelf. The new company will own investors’ rights in the Sakhalin-1 project, according to Reuters.

In a period of one month from the launch of the new Russian company, the project’s foreign partners are entailed to seek permission from the Russian government for shares in the new entity.

Since the invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces in March this year, Exxon has been looking to exit its operations in Russia and transfer its stake in the Sakhalin-1 project to a partner.

In August, Exxon said it was in talks to transfer its stake in the in the Sakhalin-1 oil and gas development to an undisclosed party.

In a similar move, Putin signed a decree in July 2022 to transfer the Sakhalin-2 natural gas project to a new Russian entity.

In July 2022, the Sakhalin-1 project’s oil production reduced to 10,000 barrels per day (bpd), from 220,000bpd prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.