Exxon in bid to resume Russian JV

Exxon Mobil has applied to the Treasury Department for a waiver from US sanctions on Russia in a bid to resume its Black Sea joint venture with state oil giant Rosneft, according to reports in the Wall Street Journal; but the request is certain to be closely scrutinized by members of Congress who are seeking to intensify sanctions on Russia in response to what the US claims is its use of cyberattacks to interfere with elections last year. Congress has also launched an investigation into whether there were ties between aides to Donald Trump and Russia’s government during the presidential campaign and the political transition.
In a series of agreements reached between 2011 and 2013, after earlier talks between Rosneft and BP had broken down, the Russian company turned to Exxon Mobile and put in place plans to spend more than $3.2bn together on exploration in the Kara and Black Seas.
During his time as Exxon Mobile’s CEO, a position he relinquished on being appointed Secretary of State by US President Donal Trump, Rex Tillerson forged a close working relationship with both Russian President Vladimir Putin and Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin. The State Department is among the US government agencies that will have a say in Exxon’s waiver application, but Tillerson has recused himself from any matters involving Exxon for the next two years.

wsj