Major oil companies with interests in Russia scrambled Monday to respond to new U.S. sanctions against Russia, as the United States on Monday imposed measures against seven Russian government officials and 17 companies linked to President Vladimir Putin in its latest action to punish Moscow for its intervention in Ukraine.
Brent Crude consolidated near seven-week highs Monday, though it slipped below $109 a barrel on signs that Libya may soon reopen a small oil port.
Russian oil giant Rosneft saw its shares drop Monday after its chief executive, Igor Sechin, was among those singled out by the United States for punitive sanctions. Rosneft was the only publicly traded Russian company to be affected by the sanctions. Its shares lost about 2 percent even as Moscow’s MICEX index rose Monday.
Standard and Poor’s ratings agency cut the credit ratings of state-controlled Rosneft and Gazprom to BBB- from BBB on Monday, the agency said in a statement on its website.
The downgrade, to a notch above junk rating, came after the agency cut Russia’s sovereign rating on Friday, also to BBB-, the lowest investment grade category.
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