Germany Moves to Nationalize Parts of Russian Oil and Gas Companies

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There are reports that Germany would be indigenizing the German units of Russian oil and gas giants, Rosneft and Gazprom, over concerns that the companies that are systemically important for the German energy market could run into financial troubles anytime from now.

Quoting sources last week, the German business daily, Handelsblatt, reported that the German ministry of economy is now considering these drastic steps in light of the importance of the German subsidiaries of both companies to the German energy market.

The report also said Chancellor Olaf Scholz is involved in the talks about the potential nationalization of the German units of Rosneft and Gazprom.

As shy away from funding firms connected to Russia, Germany fears a shortage of energy if those two companies run into difficulties or become technically insolvent.

Both firms play key roles in the German gas market. Gazprom Germania, based in Berlin, operates large gas storage facilities, while Rosneft Deutschland is a key player in the German markets of gasoline, diesel, and kerosene and distribution.

Earlier last week, Germany was preparing for a potential disruption of natural gas from Russia and activated an emergency plan on Wednesday, ahead of the Thursday deadline that Russian President Vladimir Putin had ordered for gas-for-ruble payments.

Germany triggered an emergency plan in case the from Russia is interrupted. The plan could see rationing of gas supply. Putin has set a March 31 deadline for the government, Gazprom, and the central bank of Russia to make the arrangements for payments in rubles from the so-called “hostile” countries. 

A fortnight ago, utility firms in German called on the to create a system for early warning about a potential drop in gas supply, noting that there are “serious indications that the gas situation is about to deteriorate.”

and Germany continued to receive Russian natural gas via pipelines on Friday, even after Putin threatened countries that Moscow would cut off gas flows unless buyers comply with Russia’s gas-for-rubles-only demand by the deadline on Thursday, March 31.


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