Obama’s latest sanctions against Russia include oil, gas firms

In response to continued unrest in Ukraine, US President Barack Obama has announced new sanctions against Russia that include—for the first time—operations of Russian state-owned energy firms.

“On top of the sanctions we have already imposed, we are designating selected sectors of the Russian economy as eligible for sanctions,” he told reporters at the White House on July 16. “We are freezing the assets of several Russian defense companies. And we are blocking new financing of some of Russia’s most important banks and energy companies.

“These sanctions are significant, but they are also targeted—designed to have the maximum impact on Russia while limiting any spillover effects on American companies or those of our allies,” Obama said.

Targeted firms include oil producer Rosneft; Gazprombank, which is affiliated with its leading state-owned natural gas firm; Novatek, the country’s biggest independent gas producer; and Vnesheconomicbank (VEB), which promotes financing for other Russian industries.

Sanctions against the three firms bar US persons from issuing new debt of longer than 90 days’ maturity, a senior US Department of the Treasury official said in a subsequent conference call. The actions came after US Sec. of the Treasury Jack Lew determined, under Executive Order 13662, which Obama signed on Mar. 20, that persons within Russia’s financial services and energy sector may be subject now to targeted sanctions.

The Rosneft and Novatek sanctions apply to debt, but not to new equity infusions. “We have not blocked the property of these companies, nor prohibited transactions with them beyond the specific financing restrictions I mentioned,” the official said. “But I want to be clear that the steps we have taken today restrict access to the US capital markets for these two major banks and two major energy firms.”

‘Step in right direction’

US Senate Republicans welcomed the moves, but said Obama should have made them sooner. “While the delay in imposing real costs on Russia has been damaging to US credibility, today’s announcement by the administration is definitely a step in the right direction,” Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Minority Member Bob Corker (Tenn.) said on July 16.

“For months, we've been calling for sanctions against these very entities in Russia’s energy and financial sectors, and we will continue to urge the administration to ratchet up even more pressure if [Russian President Vladimir V.] Putin does not change his behavior,” Corker said.

Separately, Lisa Murkowski (Alas.), the Senate Energy and Natural Resource’s Committee’s Ranking Minority Member, said, “This is a short-term response to a crisis, which is targeted and appropriate. But we also need to take the long view and determine what steps we—as the world’s largest oil and gas producer—can take to strengthen Ukraine and Europe’s energy security.

“Strengthening our trading ties with Europe by increasing our exports of oil and gas will send a strong signal to the world that we are serious about our role as a major energy producer,” she said.

It was not immediately clear whether the new sanctions would have impacts on joint ventures the two Russian oil and gas firms have with BP PLC, ExxonMobil Corp., and other Western multinational energy companies.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

Related Articles

Inhofe, Lankford say new BIA rules threaten Osage oil operations

07/10/2015 New US Bureau of Indian Affairs regulations that increase production expenses on tribal lands could put the Osage Nation out of business, Oklahoma’...

House panel’s crude export ban hearing weighs urgency against caution

07/10/2015 A US House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing on legislation to repeal the ban on exporting US-produced crude oil quickly broke along party l...

Chevron Phillips Chemical makes executive appointments

07/10/2015

Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. LLC has made several executive appointments, all effective Aug. 1.

Twelve workers killed in Nigeria pipeline explosion

07/10/2015 Eni SPA reported that an explosion occurred July 9 at the repair site for the Tebidaba-Clough Creek oil pipeline in Nigeria’s onshore Niger Delta.

Gov. Tomblin forms West Virginia oil, gas safety commission

07/10/2015 West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D) established the oil and gas safety commission he announced in his 2015 State of the State address. The grou...

MARKET WATCH: NYMEX, Brent crude oil prices rebound more than $1/bbl

07/10/2015 Prices for US light, sweet crude oil and Brent crude each rebounded by more than $1/bbl on their respective markets July 9, and analysts attributed...

Transco seeks FERC approval for New York Bay Expansion project

07/09/2015 Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co. LLC (Transco), a wholly owned subsidiary of Williams Partners LP, has filed an application with the US Federal E...

House Oversight panel subpoenas Kerry for Keystone XL documents

07/09/2015 The US House Oversight and Government Reform Committee issued a subpoena to US Sec. of State John F. Kerry for reports, recommendations, letters, a...

MARKET WATCH: NYMEX crude oil prices drop for fifth consecutive trading session

07/09/2015 US light, sweet crude oil prices settled slightly lower on the New York market July 8 for the fifth consecutive trading session, and analysts attri...
White Papers

2015 Global Engineering Information Management Solutions Competitive Strategy Innovation and Leadership Award

The Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global...
Sponsored by

Three Tips to Improve Safety in the Oil Field

Working oil fields will always be tough work with inherent risks. There’s no getting around that. Ther...
Sponsored by

Pipeline Integrity: Best Practices to Prevent, Detect, and Mitigate Commodity Releases

Commodity releases can have catastrophic consequences, so ensuring pipeline integrity is crucial for p...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Digital Asset Approach - Defining a new era of collaboration in capital projects and asset operations

There is constant, intensive change in the capital projects and asset life cycle management. New chall...
Sponsored by

Transforming the Oil and Gas Industry with EPPM

With budgets in the billions, timelines spanning years, and life cycles extending over decades, oil an...
Sponsored by

Asset Decommissioning in Oil & Gas: Transforming Business

Asset intensive organizations like Oil and Gas have their own industry specific challenges when it com...
Sponsored by

Squeezing the Green: How to Cut Petroleum Downstream Costs and Optimize Processing Efficiencies with Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Solutions

As the downstream petroleum industry grapples with change in every sector and at every level, includin...
Sponsored by

7 Steps to Improve Oil & Gas Asset Decommissioning

Global competition and volatile markets are creating a challenging business climate for project based ...
Sponsored by
Available Webcasts

On Demand

OGJ's Midyear Forecast 2015

Fri, Jul 10, 2015

This webcast is to be presented by OGJ Editor Bob Tippee and Senior Economic Editor Conglin Xu.  They will summarize the Midyear Forecast projections in key categories, note important changes from January’s forecasts, and examine reasons for the adjustments.

register:WEBCAST


Predictive Analytics in your digital oilfield - Optimize Production Yield and Reduce Operational Costs

Tue, Jul 7, 2015

Putting predictive analytics to work in your oilfield can help you anticipate failures, plan and schedule work in advance, eliminate emergency work and catastrophic failures, and at the same time you can optimize working capital and improve resource utilization.  When you apply analytic capabilities to critical production assets it is possible to reduce non-productive time and increase your yield.

Learn how IBM's analytics capabilities can be applied to critical production assets with the goal of reducing non-productive time, increasing yield and reducing operations costs.

register:WEBCAST


Cognitive Solutions for Upstream Oil and Gas

Fri, Jun 12, 2015

The oil & gas sector is under pressure on all sides. Reserves are limited and it’s becoming increasingly expensive to find and extract new resources. Margins are already being squeezed in an industry where one wrong decision can cost millions. Analyzing data used in energy exploration can save millions of dollars as we develop ways to predict where and how to extract the world’s massive energy reserves.

This session with IBM Subject Matter Experts will discuss how IBM Cognitive Solutions contribute to the oil and gas industry using predictive analytics and cognitive computing, as well as real time streaming for exploration and drilling.

register:WEBCAST


The Alternative Fuel Movement: Four Need-to-Know Excise Tax Complexities

Thu, Jun 4, 2015

Discussion on how to approach, and ultimately embrace, the alternative fuel market by pulling back the veil on excise tax complexities. Taxes may be an aggravating part of daily operations, but their accuracy is crucial in your path towards business success.

register:WEBCAST


Emerson Micro Motion Videos

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected