Home Business after Gazprom, Germany takes control of Rosneft subsidiaries

after Gazprom, Germany takes control of Rosneft subsidiaries

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The town of Schwedt, on the border with Poland, had been waiting for this announcement for several months. Friday, September 16, the federal government confirmed to put under supervision the two German subsidiaries of the Russian oil company Rosneft. For a minimum period of six months, Rosneft Deutschland GmbH and RN Refining & Market GmbH, which own 12% of the crude oil refining capacity in Germany, are placed under trust administration. Their shareholders can no longer exercise their voting rights and see their management power limited. As a result, three German refineries, including that of Schwedt, come under the control of the Federal Network Agency.

Russia does not fulfill its contracts

Mentioned since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, this trusteeship took longer to be formalized than that of the subsidiary of Gazprom in Germany (Gazprom Germania), effective since April. The fault, officially, with a more complex legal framework. “We have been working on the project for a long time. (…). We have prepared everything well.” confirmed the Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, assuring that he had taken “multiple levels of insurance”. Among them, the filling of oil reserves so as not to be taken aback by Moscow. “We know that Russia cannot be trusted to fulfill its contracts”, recalled Olaf Scholz. The German authorities state in particular that Rosneft Germany “does not meet its crude oil delivery obligations”.

Berlin justifies its decision, in the current context, by the risk to its oil supply. “We see that many suppliers no longer want to work with Rosneft. This may cause us to fall into a situation where the supply (sites) will no longer be insured, observes the Minister of the Economy, Robert Habeck. Many employees of the three refineries in question have already left their jobs for fear of the future. Same uncertainties on the part of banking and transport providers who prefer not to deal with Rosneft anymore.

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No more Russian oil from January 1

On the Schwedt site, on the Polish border, there is also the question of the necessary diversification of oil suppliers, which the Russian Rosneft obviously does not want to organize. Only supplied from Russia by the Druzhba pipeline, the refinery would have risked going out of business at 1er next January when not a single drop of oil will flow into Germany: the German authorities have in fact decided to do without Russian oil entirely on this date, going beyond the decision of the 27 (the European embargo on Russian oil will initially be limited to deliveries by sea). A major problem when this refinery is one of the largest in eastern Germany.

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According to the government, this placement under guardianship makes it possible to ensure employment on the site and to launch “new investments”. The pipeline between the German port of Rostock and Schwedt will be able to be upgraded, and above all neighboring Poland should lift its opposition to the shipment of oil via its port of Gdansk. Poland had hitherto refused to deal with the Russian company. Whether that will offset Russian oil remains to be seen. On this point, Berlin remains silent.

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