Exxon Asks Washington To Waive Sanctions Against Drilling In Russia
Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE: XOM) has applied to the U.S.Treasury Department for a waiver from U.S. sanctions on Russia so the oil giant can revive its joint venture with state-owned oil company, PAO Rosneft, according to published reports.
Both the Wall Street Journal and then the New York Times quoted sources as saying that Exxon had applied to drill in areas banned by sanctions imposed by former President Barack Obama following the 2014 Russian invasion of the Crimea region of neighboring Ukraine.
The stories broke just after former Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson, now the U.S. secretary of state, met with Soviet leader Vladimir Putin in Moscow on April 12.
The Russian ties of Tillerson and other members of President Donald Trump’s inner circle have been the subject of considerable controversy.
Now that Trump has inherited Exxon’s request to drill in the Black Sea, the situation is likely to grow increasingly awkward.
The Times quoted an oil industry official as saying that the request for a waiver was made in 2015 for fear of losing drilling rights to European Union competitors that expire this year. EU sanctions against Russia are more lenient. The Journal said the request was made in recent months.
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