Russia ready for sanctions against Rosneft, markets ready for panic

Russia ready for sanctions against Rosneft, markets ready for panic

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, on a visit to Mexico, said that the Russian government has got used to the United States threatening to impose sanctions against everyone, who are in contact with the Venezuelan government of Nicolas Maduro. The threat to impose sanctions against Rosneft was no exception.

On February 5, National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien said they could impose sanctions on Rosneft, if Russia's state-owned oil company continues cooperation with Venezuela.

"I heard another Washington's threat to punish everyone maintaining ties with Venezuela in one way or another. We are already used to it," Sergey Lavrov emphasized.

The sanctions against Rosneft could cause "chaos in global oil markets", Bloomberg writes. Officials at the Treasury Department worry that sanctions on Rosneft may drive up prices for oil.

The executive vice-president of NewTech Services, professor of the Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas, Valery Bessel, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, explained negative expectations of U.S. business from the sanctions against Rosneft.

"The fact is that U.S. refineries, especially in Louisiana and Texas, are focused on the processing of heavy, high-viscosity Venezuelan oil. But now, when production in Venezuela has dropped sharply, these refineries need the same heavy oil, for example, Canadian, Norwegian or our Urals, which is medium-heavy, and U.S. light shale oil is not needed," he said.

"Therefore, the Americans have begun to increase purchases of our Urals oil: Norwegian Brent production has dropped every year, Venezuelan oil production fell sharply and Canadian oil does not satisfy demand. In this regard, sanctions against Rosneft will be an unpleasant blow for their business," Bessel stressed, expressing confidence that sanctions against Rosneft will nevertheless be imposed, since this is a political issue.