France’s Total withdraws from a Russian gas project

Latest News: French energy giant Total Energy said on the 26th that it will transfer its stake in a natural gas project in Russia’s Siberia to Russia’s joint venture partner Novatek. Large natural gas producer Novatek previously established Terneftegaz, a joint venture with Total, to jointly develop a natural gas field in Siberia, with the two companies holding 51 percent and 49 percent respectively.

Total said on the 26th that it signed an agreement with Novatek on the same day to transfer its stake in Terneftegaz to Novatek, and the transaction is expected to be completed in September. Novatek confirmed the news the same day. Upon completion of the acquisition, Novatek will hold all of Terneftegaz’s shares.

Total said it decided to divest in mid-July and submitted an application to Russian authorities in early August, which was approved on the 25th. The French “Le Monde” reported on the 23rd that data from a non-governmental organization showed that the condensate produced by Terneftegaz was sent to a refinery, which provided about 42,000 yuan to two Russian air bases from February to July this year. tons of fuel.

Total denied the report the next day, saying that all the condensate produced in the gas field was delivered to a processing plant in Kaliningrad, Russia, and that a series of products such as aviation fuel processed by that plant could only be sold outside Russia. License for sale in Russia.

Total also said on the 24th that the company will take legal measures if necessary to end “groundless disputes that damage the company’s reputation.”

Total has investments in several gas projects in Russia and holds a 19% stake in Novatek. Western energy companies have pulled out of Russia after Russia launched a special military operation against Ukraine in February. According to Agence France-Presse, Total is currently the only large Western energy company that continues to operate in Russia.

Total Energy CEO Patrick Pujane said in March that the Russian gas project that Total is involved in developing is vital to Europe’s energy supply. However, Total subsequently withdrew from some projects.