May 29, 2017 / 12:25 PM / 7 months ago

Exxon CEO Woods expected to attend St. Petersburg forum -sources

MOSCOW, May 29 (Reuters) - Exxon Mobil Chief Executive Officer Darren Woods is expected to attend the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum this week, two industry sources told Reuters.

Woods is due to attend the June 1-3 forum where Russian President Vladimir Putin will deliver the keynote speech, the sources said. A meeting between Woods and Putin is possible, one of the sources said.

Exxon did not respond to a request seeking a comment.

Woods visited Moscow in March to meet Putin. Russian energy minister Alexander Novak and the head of top Russian oil producer Rosneft, Igor Sechin, also attended.

This year’s forum is the first since Donald Trump became U.S. president. During his election campaign, Trump said he wanted to restore frayed relations with the Kremlin.

Wood’s predecessor, Rex Tillerson, now U.S. Secretary of State, appeared at last year’s forum having stayed away for two years over Russia’s intervention in Ukraine.

In 2014, sanctions drove Exxon away from a joint project with Rosneft in the offshore Arctic Kara sea oil field, where both companies started - and then postponed - exploratory drilling.

Rosneft and Exxon are also partners in the Pacific oil and gas project, Sakhalin-1, an Exxon-led venture that has been at odds with Russia’s government over taxes. Sakhalin-1 is not subject to sanctions.

Other energy chief executives and officials due to attend the forum include Patrick Pouyanne of Total, Rainer Seele of OMV, Isabelle Kocher from Engie, Mario Mehren of Wintershall, BP CEO Robert Dudley, Saudi Arabia’s oil minister Khalid al-Falih and OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo. (Additional reporting by Ernest Scheyder in HOUSTON; writing by Denis Pinchuk; editing by Katya Golubkova)

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