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Oil Majors Look To Gain Clarity On Sanctions Against Russia

The Italian oil major Eni will discuss sanctions against Russia with authorities in the European Union and the United States to gain clarity on the economic rivalry forming between President Donald Trump and the Kremlin, Reuters reported.

Eni signed a cooperation agreement with Rosneft last year to explore fossil fuel deposits in the Barents Sea and the Black Sea last year. President Donald Trump has ramped up sanctions against Russia to retaliate against Moscow’s meddling in the 2016 presidential elections, as well as other cyberattacks.

“We are careful to maintain relations with Rosneft but we have to respect U.S. and European norms,” CEO Claudio Descalzi said on the sidelines of a business plan presentation. The executive clarified that the company ran two wells in all of Russia.

The Trump administration issued a series of punitive sanctions against Russia for coordinating a cyberattack on the U.S. energy grid, aviation systems, and other infrastructure, according to a recent report by the Associated Press. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Moscow will prepare a response to the sanctions, but did not provide additional details.

“These targeted sanctions are a part of a broader effort to address the ongoing nefarious attacks emanating from Russia,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said earlier this week. He said others would face punishment in the future under the new sanctions law “to hold Russian government officials and oligarchs accountable for their destabilizing activities.”

Another report released this month by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology added: “Documents that the American social media companies produced for the Committee confirmed that Russian agents were exploiting American social media platforms in an effort to disrupt domestic energy markets, suppress research and development of fossil-fuels, and stymie efforts to expand the use of natural gas.”

By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com

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