Despite risks some oil companies want to do business in Russia

Fuel Fix:
A month after the Senate voted to increase economic sanctions against Russia and Iran, the bill still hasn't gotten a vote in the House.

And part of the reason, according to a report by Politico Tuesday, is the U.S. oil lobby.

Senior House Republicans also argue that the oil industry's objections have stalled the bill.

Exxon and Chevron, insiders say, have been complaining to GOP leaders and other members that the legislation could potentially block them from doing business on projects that have Russia connections, hurting their bottom line.

Of course, between the usual jockeying by House Republicans and Democrats and efforts by the White House to give President Trump power to offer waivers to the sanctions when national security is at stake, there's plenty holding up the bill, which the Senate passed last month in a sweeping bipartisan vote of 98-2.

But for the world's oil majors, Russia remains a hugely attractive opportunity.

Russia has the largest proven natural gas reserves in the world at 1,688 trillion cubic feet, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

But opportunities for U.S. oil companies in Russia are fairly limited under sanctions imposed over Russian troops' invasion of the Crimea region of Ukraine.
...
While President Trump has indicated he would like more flexibility in dealing with Russian sanctions he has also indicated in his speech in Poland that he wants to export more US LNG to Eastern Europe.  With his America First agenda and his goal of energy dominance, it seems unlikely he would want to see American firms helping the Russians develop their natural gas business and improve their pipelines to Europe.

It is also not clear that countries like Russia and Iran can restrain their expansionist ambitions enough to avoid future sanctions.

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