Germany takes control of Russian-owned refinery amid energy crisis

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  • German energy industry struggling after war in Ukraine
  • German regulator now takes control of Schwedt refinery
  • The Schwedt refinery is a main fuel source for Berlin.
  • PKN interested in controlling stake in refinery – source

BERLIN, Sep 16 (Reuters) – Germany took control of a major Russian-owned oil refinery on Friday, risking retaliation from Moscow as Berlin slammed its European Union to boost energy supplies and end Russian oil imports. Tried to fulfill the commitment of year.

The Ministry of Economy said that it is setting up a unit of the Russian oil company Rosneft (rosn.mm) Under the trusteeship of the industry regulator and taking over the business’s Schwedt refinery, which supplies 90% of Berlin’s fuel.

“With the trusteeship, the threat to the security of the energy supply is countered and an essential cornerstone is laid for the conservation and future of the Schwedt site,” the ministry said in a statement.

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Governments across Europe are racing to boost their electricity providers and secure fuel delivery as they imposed sanctions on major supplier Russia over Ukraine’s invasion.

Moscow has retaliated by curtailing gas flow and threatening to shut all taps, raising prices and the prospect of energy rationing in Europe this winter.

Rosneft Deutschland, which was majority owned by Russian Oil Group and held about 12% of German oil processing capacity, is being placed under the trusteeship of the Federal Network Agency regulator. The regulator said the original owner no longer has the authority to issue directions.

Rosneft Deutschland and Rosneft did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Polish refiner PKN Orlen (PKN.WA) Schwedt is interested in taking a controlling stake in the refinery, which is Germany’s fourth largest and also supplies parts of western Poland, sources in Berlin and Warsaw familiar with the matter told Reuters. read more

Shell, which owns a 37.5% stake in Schwedt, has been looking to sell it for some time. Shell said on Friday it was “unaffected” by the German move to take control of the refinery.

The Schwedt refinery has posed a dilemma for Berlin for several weeks, as it has obtained all its crude from Russia, but Germany is set to end oil imports from Russia by the end of the year under EU sanctions. resolved to do so.

However, taking Shvedt into its custody risks retribution on the part of Moscow.

Poland said earlier this year that there was a plan to end Russian ownership of the refinery to replace Russian crude through a terminal in Gdansk and potentially supply it with marine oil through Polish pipelines. were laid.

Germany’s economy ministry said Friday’s move includes a package to ensure refineries can obtain oil through alternative routes, without giving details.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Economy Minister Robert Habeck and the State Premier of Brandenburg are due to announce more details at 1130 GMT.

Germany’s move at Rosneft Deutschland is its latest attempt to stabilize the energy market.

The government said this week it would step up lending to companies at risk of being crushed by rising gas prices, and power utility Unipar said the state could take a controlling stake, worth 19 billion euros ($19 billion). Adding to the government rescue package was not. quite long. read more

The government has placed SEFE, formerly known as Gazprom Germania, under trusteeship after Russian energy giant Gazprom. (GAZP.MM) Abandoned it in April.

Berlin is grappling with Russia’s move to halt gas flow through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which used to be the largest gas supply route powering Europe’s largest economy.

As a result of Friday’s decision, the Federal Network Agency will take Rosneft Deutschland’s shares in the Miro refinery in Karlsruhe and the Bayernoil refinery in Vohberg.

($1 = 1.0019 Euro)

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Reporting by Marcus Waket in Berlin, Paul Carell in Geneva and Shadia Nasralla in London; Editing by Edmund Blair and Mark Potter

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principals.

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