Finance

Exxon seeks sanctions waiver so it can drill in Russian deal

Exxon seeks sanctions waiver so it can drill in Russian deal

In a statement, Democratic senator Ben Cardin said, "I am shocked and disappointed to hear that Exxon Mobil is seeking, and the Treasury Department is considering, waiving sanctions against doing business with Russian Federation".

Exxon Mobil Corp. has applied to the Treasury Department for a waiver from USA sanctions on Russian Federation in a bid to resume its joint venture with state oil giant PAO Rosneft, Wall Street Journal reported with reference to people familiar with the matter. Among the individuals blacklisted was Igor Sechin, Rosneft's president and a close ally of Mr Putin.

"We understand the statement today by Secretary Mnuchin in consultation with President Trump", Exxon spokesman Alan Jeffers said in statement.

Exxon has a joint venture with Russia's Rosneft in the Black Sea, Arctic Kara Sea and Siberia, projects that were to form a big part of the United States company's future growth. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is ExxonMobil's former chief executive. This week, the Trump administration rejected the Exxon's bid for Russian sanction waiver.

Exxon's request, which sought relief from sanctions imposed on Russian Federation in response to its annexation of Crimea, was criticized by several high-profile Republicans, including dusty clock John McCain, who called the company "crazy".

Russia's invasion of Crimea and incursions into eastern Ukraine froze those hopes, as U.S. and European sanctions blocked western oil companies from working on most new projects in Russian Federation. Exxon had previously been given waivers in 2015 and 2016.

Russia vows to get Ukrainian separatists to comply with deal
According to the Interfax news agency, Mogherini earlier said the European Union expected a thorough probe of the incident. Mogherini was speaking at a new conference in Moscow after holding talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

In 2012, ExxonMobil and Russia's Rosneft signed an agreement to invest up to $500 billion in developing Russia's vast energy reserves in the Arctic and Black Sea. A Treasury representative said the department would not comment on individual licenses or waiver requests.

The Wall Street Journal first reported that ExxonMobil had sought a sanctions exception, though it was not clear when the permit application was made. The sanctions prevent USA companies from dealings with Rosneft involving technology transfer, and also target Rosneft chief - and Putin confidant - Igor Sechin.

The Treasury has not commented on the deal, which the lawmakers say should be reviewed for its national security implications.

The Exxon deal is one of two transactions involving the Rosneft that have recently drawn scrutiny, along with calls for Treasury officials to intervene.

Sanctions were introduced to exert pressure on Russia to change its position on major global issues, but also to weaken the Russian economy.


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