The U.S. Treasury Department said on April 22, 2017, it will not issue drilling waiver to Exxon Mobil to work with a Russian state oil company as prohibited by U.S. sanctions on Russia.
«In consultation with President Donald Trump, the Treasury Department will not be issuing waivers to U.S. companies, including Exxon, authorizing drilling prohibited by current Russian sanctions,» Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.
Exxon has reportedly been seeking the U.S. government's permission to work with Russia's state-run oil giant Rosneft to drill for oil in the Black Sea, an area covered by U.S. sanctions imposed on Russia.
In response, Exxon Mobil said that it understands Mnuchin's statement that was issued in consultation with President Trump.
«Our 2015 application for a license under the provisions outlined in the U.S. sanctions was made to enable our company to meet its contractual obligations under a joint venture agreement in Russia, where competitor companies are authorized to undertake such work under European sanctions,» Exxon said in a statement.
The Exxon joint venture agreement with Rosneft was inked in 2012 when incumbent Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was Exxon's CEO.
The State Department is one of several U.S. agencies tasked with approving sanctions waivers, but Tillerson has said that he will recuse himself from making decisions involving his former company for at least 2 years.