Oil giant ExxonMobil is pursuing a waiver in order to drill in the Black Sea as part of a joint venture with the Russian state oil company Rosneft. The waiver would allow Exxon to circumvent U.S. Treasury Department sanctions imposed on Russia over its annexation of Crimea. The State Department, headed by longtime ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, is one of the U.S. agencies that would have to approve the waiver—meaning the current CEO of Exxon will be asking an agency headed by the former CEO of Exxon for permission to drill. The State Department says Tillerson has recused himself from matters involving Exxon for two years. ExxonMobil claims it could lose its contract to drill in the Black Sea if it doesn’t begin operations by the end of this year.