A person familiar with the matter says Exxon Mobil is seeking permission from the U.S. government for approval to resume drilling around the Black Sea with a Russian partner, state-owned Rosneft.
The oil giant's request is being reviewed by the Trump administration and is certain to draw extra scrutiny because it involves a company formerly run by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who cultivated close ties with Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin.
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The drilling venture was blocked when the U.S. imposed sanctions on Russia in 2014. Exxon applied to the Treasury Department for a waiver from the sanctions in 2015, during the Obama administration, according to the person, who spoke anonymously because the application process is confidential.