Moscow. April 21. U.S. Department of the Treasury, in consultation with the President, Donald trump, decided not to do for Exxon and other American companies exceptions from the sanctions regime against Russia, allowing them drilling in Russia, reads the statement of the head of Department Stephen Mnuchin.
The us sectoral sanctions imposed in 2014, prohibit the transfer of Russia’s advanced technologies, including those associated with offshore drilling.
That ExxonMobil has applied to the Ministry of the Treasury with a request to remove the restrictions on drilling activities in the framework of its JV with Rosneft, said earlier this week The Wall Street Journal, citing its sources. We are talking about drilling on the continental shelf of the Black sea, said the publication.
Against giving Exxon the right to resume drilling on Black sea shelf had to speak out publicly, senators Marco Rubio and John McCain (Republican) and Bob Menendez (Democrat) and Congressman Eliot Engel, the ranking member of the Democratic party in the house of representatives Committee on foreign Affairs.
“Are they crazy?” – wrote on Twitter, commenting on the request of Exxon, D. McCain.
Exxon in its request referred to the fact that under the terms of the agreement, it needs to begin drilling in the area in the Black sea until the end of the year. Without these activities and the detection of oil of SP will not be able to obtain a license to develop the field.
Exxon also argued its position that its European competitors Eni and Statoil continue to implement oil and gas projects in Russia.
Exxon had already had experience of cooperation with the authorities on a similar issue: after technological sanctions were imposed in September 2014, the company received permission to finish drilling the University-1 in the Kara sea.
Rosneft and ExxonMobil in 2011 signed an agreement on strategic cooperation in Russia, the U.S. and third countries. The agreement provides for the exploration and development of three license areas of “Rosneft”in the Kara sea (East Prinovozemelsky 1, 2 and 3) and the Tuapse license block in the Black sea. The share of “Rosneft” in projects on development of areas in the Kara sea and Black sea is 66.7 percent, ExxonMobil – 33.3 per cent.
In 2014, the license area of the East Prinovozemelsky-1 Rosneft together with Exxon drilled the well Universitetskaya-1, confirming the presence of hydrocarbons. According to the results of drilling the University-1 open oil and gas field, the Victory oil reserves by category C1+C2 – 130 million tons and gas 500 billion cubic meters.
Because of U.S. sanctions, Exxon has been forced to curtail operations in Russia, with the exception of the project “Sakhalin-1”. “Rosneft” declared that are ready to continue work in the Arctic.
However, according to the head of “Rosneft” Igor Sechin, in 2019, the Russian company and Exxon plan to continue drilling in the Kara sea (in 2017, Rosneft plans to conduct a 3D seismic survey in the Arctic, where the field was discovered Victory). In 2017, Rosneft and Exxon plan to drill in the Black sea.