ExxonMobil recalled the “guidelines” of the White house’s deals with Rosneft

ExxonMobil, which the U.S. Treasury Department has fined for transaction with Rosneft for $2 million, I do not agree with this decision. This is stated in the message of the American oil companies, received by RBC.

The company said that the office of the U.S. Treasury’s foreign assets control (OFAC) trying a new way to interpret existing rules work with the companies that fell under US sanctions. “It is not in the White house and Treasury. OFAC actions fundamentally unfair”, — stated in the message of ExxonMobil.

As evidence of ExxonMobil cited statements by the US authorities about how to work with the sanctioned companies. In particular, they reported Foreign Policy magazine from 28 April 2014 that the Ministry of Finance officials do not prohibit doing business with Rosneft as “the company does not control [Igor] Sechin”.

The Ministry of Finance published its decision on the assessment fee ExxonMobil today, July 20. In the published document, the Agency says the company and its subsidiaries (ExxonMobil Development Co ExxonMobil Oil Corp.) violated § 589.201 the sanctions legislation, introduced after Russia’s actions in Ukraine. This paragraph implies a ban on transactions with the persons from the sanctions list. The head of “Rosneft” Igor Sechin in April 2014 was included in the sanctions list of the USA.

As stated in the decision of the Ministry of Finance, ExxonMobil has violated the sanctions rules from 14 to 23 may 2014, when the heads of departments ExxonMobil signed eight agreements covering oil and gas projects in Russia — the second party in the transactions made by Rosneft. Documents on the transactions was signed by the head of the company Igor Sechin, already under sanctions. What transactions ExxonMobil and “Rosneft” was going on, the Finance Ministry said.

According to “Rosneft”, may 23, 2014, the company’s President, Sechin and President of ExxonMobil Development Neil Duffin signed an agreement on the renewal of the strategic agreement for the implementation of the project “far Eastern LNG”. The contract provided for the carrying out engineering surveys on land and at sea in the summer of 2014.

According to the representative of “Rosneft” Mikhail Leontiev, ExxonMobil is always “very closely approached” to all actions in the framework of the sanctions and harmonize them with sanctions lawyers. “I don’t imagine the action Exxon, which had not been beforehand with sanctions lawyers discussed”, — he said RBC.

Leontiev said that Igor Sechin, is included in the sanctions list as an individual. “He spoke not as an individual in its own interests, and as Executive Director of the company, which committed actions that do not fall under sanctions,” — emphasizes the Leontyev.

“All this was free for three years. As we have repeatedly said, the nature of sanctions and their use of the us services are so arbitrary that this case is just one of the illustrations,” concluded Leontiev.