OFAC Settles With Cameron Int’l for Russian Offshore Sanctions Breach

Prirazlomnaya (Gazprom-Neft)

Sep 27, 2021 6:55 PM by

The Maritime Executive

The U.S. Treasury has reached a settlement settlement with drilling gear maker Cameron International over obvious violations of U.S. sanctions on Russia’s Arctic offshore oil business. 

After Russia invaded and occupied Ukrainian Crimea in 2014, the Obama administration imposed stiff sanctions on sure sectors of the Russian vitality economic system. The measures forbid U.S. individuals from promoting items,  providers or expertise for use in Russian deepwater, Arctic offshore or shale initiatives. This swiftly shut down Russian oil firms’ entry to American drilling expertise and compelled the cancellation of a minimum of one main three way partnership, an Exxon-Rosneft partnership for exploration within the Kara Sea.

According to the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, one Houston-based oilfield provide agency didn’t adjust to these restrictions. In 2015-16, a Romanian subsidiary of Cameron International Corporation reached a take care of the Russian oil firm Gazprom-Neft to provide items for the Prirazlomnaya offshore oil platform. Prirazlomnaya is the one operational offshore manufacturing challenge on the Russian Arctic continental shelf, making it uniquely inclined to the U.S. sanctions.

In late July 2015, Cameron Romania’s workers reached out to executives on the firm’s Houston workplace to request approval for contracts with Gazprom-Neft Shelf, the operator of Prirazlomnaya. The approval course of required the Romanian subsidiary to get sign-off from the house workplace for contracts above a sure worth threshold. In response, senior managers at Cameron – who have been U.S. individuals, not international staff – accredited the contracts. They additionally accredited two pre-purchase types for one contract, permitting Cameron Romania to start work earlier than the contract’s ultimate execution. 

At the time of the approvals, in keeping with OFAC, the Cameron managers in Houston had motive to know the providers they have been offering have been in assist of Arctic offshore oil-producing initiatives. The requests from Cameron Romania included references to Gazprom-Neft Shelf’s Prirazlomnaya platform and clearly acknowledged that the Russian Arctic was the vacation spot for the products, OFAC stated. 

Cameron International had compliance insurance policies in place to make sure that it adhered to sanctions measures, together with a type for transactions involving Russia. However, that type didn’t point out that there could possibly be sanctions publicity if the U.S.-person managers in Houston signed off on the activites of Cameron’s international subsidiaries, like Cameron Romania.

In complete, 4 Cameron U.S.-person senior managers – a division president, two VPs of finance, and one senior supervisor – accredited the contracts and pre-purchase types. Schlumberger acquired Cameron in April 2016, after two of the contracts have been accredited, and three extra have been accredited after the acquisition. Later, Schlumberger found the obvious violation and self-reported it to OFAC. “OFAC assessed, nonetheless, that Cameron’s submissions didn’t represent a voluntary self-disclosure,” the workplace stated in an announcement.

In complete, Cameron Romania made 111 shipments of E&P gear to Gazprom-Neft Shelf for use at Prirazlomnaya, serving to the power obtain its present manufacturing of about seven million barrels of oil per 12 months.

The most attainable penalty for the sanctions breach was about $22 million. After weighing the severity of the infraction, OFAC determined to settle with Schlumberger for $1,400,000, the minimal civil penalty quantity. 


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