French energy group: Total sells stake in Russian gas field

3 mins read

It is the only Western energy giant to continue doing business in Russia. But at least one highly controversial stake has been sold by the French Total Group

French energy company Total Energies has announced the sale of shares in a gas field in Russia that will be used to produce fuel for Russian fighter jets, according to a media report. The company, known by its former name Total, said it signed a contract Friday with its Russian partner company Nowatek to sell the stake. The terms of the contract, it added, allowed Total Energies to “recover its investment in the field.”

Nowatek confirmed that it now holds 100 percent of the gas field operating company. Total Energies had previously owned 49 percent of Terneftegaz, which produces natural gas from the Termokarstvoye field in Siberia. Total Energies also has a stake in Novatek itself: It continues to hold 19.4 percent of the shares in it.

The newspaper “Le Monde” had reported on Wednesday, citing data from the non-governmental organization (NGO) Global Witness, that gas condensate had been delivered from Termokarstvoje to a refinery near the Siberian city of Omsk. From there, for the first time since 2017, “hundreds of fuel shipments” had been made to air bases near the Ukrainian border in recent months and until at least July. Citing figures from the financial data service provider Refinitiv, “Le Monde” wrote that the total was 42,700 tons of aviation kerosene for the Morozovsk and Voronezh bases, enough for 3,400 refuelings for Sukhoi Su-34 fighter jets.

Total Energies had denied the research and threatened legal action over the article, which it said contained “errors, abridgements and falsehoods.” “No, TotalEnergies does not produce kerosene for the Russian army,” the group had said on Wednesday on the short message service Twitter.

The French group had initially said it had no control over the sales of its Russian partner company Nowatek. Now Total Energies said Nowatek had denied that the gas condensate produced by the company was being processed into aviation kerosene for Russian military jets. This is instead processed at a refinery that makes products exclusively for foreign markets, a Total Energies statement forwarded by Nowatek said.

Total Energies is the only major Western energy company that continues to do business in Russia. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba wrote on Twitter, “Get out of Russia with TotalEnergies!” He said his country is grateful to President Emmanuel Macron and the French people for their support for Ukraine. Therefore, he said, it is “a shame for France that French companies are helping in the murder of Ukrainians and the destruction of our cities.”

Salih Demir

Salih Demir lives in Germany. He is interested in politics and economy. Germany editor of -ancient idea-

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