Russia has begun discussions with Exxon Mobil Corp. on possible new oil and gas projects, potentially creating a dilemma as the U.S. government mulls more sanctions against the country.
The talks could lead to increased cooperation between the U.S. energy giant and state-run Rosneft PJSC, Russian government officials said, asking not to be named discussing confidential information. Several options have been prepared for Exxon, including in natural gas, refining and chemicals, none of which are currently subject to American sanctions, two officials said.
Exxon and Rosneft declined to comment.
Exxon abandoned most of its joint ventures with Rosneft earlier this year amid a previous round of sanctions. That was a blow for both companies: their agreements signed five years ago to drill millions of acres in the Arctic and Black Sea should have been the crowning achievement of Rex Tillerson’s 11-year tenure at the helm of Exxon. It would also have cemented the dominance of Rosneft boss Igor Sechin over Russia’s oil industry.