The ban, contained in legislation approved by the EuropeanCommission and obtained by the Financial Times, would also beapplied to Russian defence companies and would add to a similarrestriction adopted in July on Russian banks seeking to raise cashin Europe, the Financial Times writes.
According to thelegislation, which was distributed to national capitals on Thursdayand expected to be approved by EU ambassadors by Friday, the ban onoil groups would only apply to state-controlled companies withassets of more than 1tn roubles ($27bn) who get more than halftheir revenues from "the sale or transportation of crude oil orpetroleum products".
Those criteriawould hit Rosneft, Russia's largest oil group, and Gazprom Neft,the oil subsidiary of gas giant Gazprom. The language appears toalso bar Transneft, the world's largest oil pipelinecompany.
Other Russian oilgroups, such as Lukoil and Surgutneftegas, would likely be exemptbecause of their private ownership, however. The legislation onlyapplies to companies that are "publicly controlled" or are morethan 50 per cent owned by the government.
The ban on oilgroups is the most significant measure under consideration in thelegislation, triggered by last month's movement of Russian troopsinto Ukraine, and would add to existing sanctions in the US againstRosneft. The US has also targeted Novatek, the Russian gas group,but the EU has been careful to shy away from the sensitive gassector amid concerns the Kremlin could retaliate by shutting offgas supplies vital to many EU members.