United States fines Exxon Mobil over Ukraine-related sanctions violations

The Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control said Exxon didn’t voluntarily disclose its dealings with Sechin to the US government, and called the violations egregious.OFAC also noted that “ExxonMobil’s senior-most executives knew of Sechin’s status as [a sanctioned individual] when they dealt in the blocked services of Sechin”. In May, ExxonMobil signed a series of agreements with Sechin, who was acting in his capacity as the president of Rosneft, the Russian state oil firm.Exxon has not yet responded to a request for comment. Rosneft is one of the world’s largest oil companies, and Sechin is a former senior adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin.The next month, Tillerson was asked about sanctions by the Associated Press and said “there has been no impact on any of our business activities in Russian Federation to this point, nor has there been any discernible impact on the relationship”. It leveled the statutory maximum civil penal of $2 million for the breaches. The Treasury Department named Sechin a subject of those sanctions that April.”The OFAC is trying to retroactively enforce a new interpretation of an executive order that is inconsistent with the explicit and unambiguous guidance from the White House and Treasury”, Exxon said.Sechin had been blacklisted by the United States just weeks earlier.The notice said “presidents of [Exxon’s] subsidiaries.sign [ed] eight legal documents related to oil and gas projects in Russian Federation with Igor Sechin, the President of Rosneft OAO, and an individual” who is on the blocked persons that OFAC maintains. Those sanctions cost his company hundreds of millions of dollars.”We do not support sanctions, generally, because we don’t find them to be effective unless they are very well implemented comprehensibly and that’s a very hard thing to do”, Tillerson said at Exxon’s 2014 annual meeting.