U.S. Oil Companies Lobby Against Tighter Sanctions on Russia

The U.S. oil industry, which is suffering losses because of Washington’s sanctions imposed on Russia, is pushing against tighter sanctions on Moscow, Reuters reports.

The American oil companies fear the new restrictions could impact their investments in the world’s biggest oil producing country, the news agency said on Saturday, citing sources in the U.S. Congress.

U.S. lawmakers are mulling over a bill which would toughen sanctions on Russia if it transpires that Moscow’s alleged meddling in the U.S. election had gone even further than initially believed.

Even though most of the sources Reuters spoke to refused to name the companies coming out against new sanctions on Russia, one Senate aide said that the U.S.-Russia Chamber of Commerce was raising concerns about the legislation.

The Texas-based chamber, which is a non-profit organization, brings together leading U.S. oil and gas companies, such as Exxon Mobil, who has previously opposed anti-Russian sanctions, and Chevron.

Opponents claim sanctions unfairly penalize U.S. firms while allowing their foreign rivals such as Royal Dutch Shell and BP to operate in Russia. The Chamber and company representatives did not respond to requests for comment.

In February, ExxonMobil announced it will quit some joint oil ventures with Russia’s Rosneft citing Western sanctions first imposed in 2014 and further expanded by the US Congress in 2017. Bending under pressure, ExxonMobil and its affiliates said they would abide by the legislators’ demands.