How to Navigate the Business in a Sanctioned Jurisdiction

Haitao Zhang, Director Legal , CNPC America Ltd., Canada

It is imperative for a company, irrespective of the place of its incorporation or its headquarters, to seriously consider to what extent and how to comply with the American sanctions no matter whether it operates in United States or abroad, because of the extensive reach of the sanctions much beyond American jurisdiction, and there are so many widely known cases that a simple non-compliance of American sanctions resulted in the legal traps, huge penalties and possible incarceration of the senior management members of the company. Moreover, being sanctioned can result in damage to a company’s reputation, loss of revenue and destruction of shareholder value. So it is of the utmost importance for an in-house counsel to understand and evaluate the basic scopes and caveats of American sanctions of a particular jurisdiction where the company has business and United States imposes sanctions, and work with experts closely to design a full compliance and monitor program for the company. This paper will firstly explore the basic scope of the American sanctions and types of the American sanctions developed so far and the main American authorities which operate and implement sanctions; secondly take American Venezuela sanctions for example and give the background of the sanctions and the resulting impacts on Venezuela as a whole; and thirdly will give warnings and/or recommendations for the company and its in-house counsels when operating in such a sanctioned jurisdiction.

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Canada International Energy September 2019 Vol.12, No. 48, Summer 2019

Haitao Zhang

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Haitao Zhang has been working for China national Petroleum Corporation (“CNPC”) for 19 years, and is the Director Legal for CNPC Latin America Branch, responsible for the legal & corporate matters in this region for CNPC, and leads directly/indirectly about 20 in-house counsels based in 6 countries. He is a registered attorney in New York and Alberta and a member of Beijing State-Owned Enterprise Counsel Association.

CNPC America Ltd.

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China National Petroleum Corporation (“CNPC”) is an integrated international energy company. Based in China, CNPC has oil and gas assets and interests in more than 30 countries in Africa, Central Asia-Russia, America, the Middle East, Asia-Pacific, and other regions. CNPC is China's largest oil and gas producer and supplier, as well as one of the world's major oilfield service providers and a globally reputed contractor. CNPC Latin America Branch bases its main office at Caracas, Venezuela and has petroleum exploration and production business in six Latin America countries.

Canada International Energy September 2019 Vol.12, No. 48, Summer 2019