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TotalEnergies pulls out of gas field accused of supplying Russian military

TotalEnergies exits the Termokarstovoe gas field in Siberia but remains in Russia. The French group announced on Friday, August 26 that it had reached an agreement with its Russian partner Novatek to sell it its 49% stake in their joint venture Terneftegaz, which operates the aforementioned gas field.

The world revealed on August 24, based on an investigation by the NGO Global Witness and the financial database Refinitiv, that this field produces gas condensate that is sent to a processing plant that then supplies a refinery that sells kerosene to the Russian Air Force and specifically to two Morozovskaya and Malchevo military bases. Each has a squadron of multirole combat aircraft. These air units have been accused by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch of hitting the Ukrainian civilian population, notably during the Mariupol theater bombing on March 16, which would have killed hundreds of people.

However, the French oil giant said on Friday that at its Russian partner’s processing plant, gas condensates from its field are not mixed with others and are only intended for export.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers TotalEnergies plays for gas in Russia

After minimizing its role in this supply chain and denying any responsibility, according to the press release, TotalEnergies would have decided in July to leave the deposit on behalf of “Principles of Action in Russia”, revealed on March 22. Except the one she’s talking about is nowhere to be seen and made its first appearance this Friday. it is “phasing out activities in Russia for those that do not contribute to the continent’s energy supply”.


If so, will TotalEnergies exit Novatek, Russia’s second largest natural gas producer, of which it owns 19.4%? He owns the condensate processing plant that feeds the Omsk refinery, which sells kerosene to Russian military bases. Novatek’s management committee recommended on Thursday that it pay 2.27 billion euros in dividends to its shareholders thanks to profits recorded in the first half of 2022. This would represent a profit of 440 million euros for the French group, which has no intention of giving up .

Also read the editorial: TotalEnergies in Russia: we must stop turning a blind eye

“TotalEnergies is embroiled in controversy: it sells its stake in the gas field but remains a shareholder in Novatek, which supplies the Russian military, contrary to its duty of vigilance” laments Clara Gonzalez, a lawyer at Greenpeace France. The economic stakes are not the same. At the end of 2021, TotalEnergies’ stake in the Terneftegaz joint venture was valued at nearly $197 million (€197.3 million), while that in Novatek was valued at $6.2 billion.

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