Russian Energy Minister Novak to Meet Exxon CEO on Wednesday


MOSCOW, March 17 (Reuters) – Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak plans to meet Exxon's chief executive officer, Rex Tillerson, on Wednesday, a ministry official told Reuters.

The official declined to give any more details for the meeting, which comes as Western sanctions, imposed on Russia over its actions in Ukraine, have prevented the U.S. company from participating in several projects in Russia.

Tillerson last visited Moscow in June 2014 when he affirmed his commitment to doing business with Russia.

Last year, Exxon was forced by the sanctions to suspend its joint operations with Russia's top oil producer Rosneft in the offshore Arctic, where they successfully performed exploration drilling.

A Rosneft spokeswoman declined to comment on any possible meeting of Tillerson and Rosneft's head, Igor Sechin.

The sanctions prevent Western companies from giving Russia technology for Arctic offshore, deepwater and shale oil development. Rosneft will not resume drilling in the Arctic Kara Sea this year because of the sanctions.

Exxon has also been involved in a joint oil and gas project with Rosneft, Sakhalin-1, which produces over 100,000 barrels per day of oil. Sakhalin-1 is not subject to the sanctions.

(Reporting by Katya Golubkova and Vladimir Soldatkin; Writing by Lidia Kelly, editing by Elizabeth Piper)


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