Only The Stubborn Strike It Rich In Russia

Foreign companies eager to tap Russia's rich trove of natural resources face monumental problems. These range from bureaucratic hang-ups and arctic weather to roving gangs and alarmed reindeer herders. But after three years of struggle and an investment of $385 million, U.S. petroleum giant Conoco Inc. has struck oil in Russia's frozen north and is pumping 25,000 barrels per day. In contrast, Cyprus Amax Minerals Co. is just beginning its pioneering effort, expected to cost at least $180 million, to strike it rich in the Siberian gold fields. The experiences of the two companies and their Russian joint ventures follows.

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