Penalties against energy companies: Russia bans Gazprom Germany

Status: 05/12/2022 00:23

Russia has announced sanctions against 31 energy companies. The list, published by the Kremlin, also includes parts of the Gazprom Germania group under the trustee of the Federal Network Agency.

Russia has imposed sanctions on Gazprom Germania and other former subsidiaries of its state-owned gas company. With a total of 31 listed companies, it said no business should be done on the Russian side. The Russian government has issued an order imposing trade sanctions on behalf of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Sanctions include a ban on transactions and the entry of ships associated with related companies into Russian ports.

Under the Gazprom Germania Trustee

Gosprom Germany was placed under the trusteeship of the Federal Network Agency in early April. The company owns other major companies in the German gas industry. These include general utility gas dealer Vingas and gas storage operator Astora. They are also affected by Russian sanctions.

Sanctions are also affecting Europol GAZ, a Polish company that owns the Polish region of the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline. Russia has previously cut off gas supplies to Poland.

Federal Government: Guarantee of supply security

The central government has said that the security of the supply is now assured. A spokesman for the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Protection said: “We are evaluating these announcements. We do not have details yet.”

As the trustee of Gosprom Germany, the federal government and the Federal Network Agency are already preparing for various scenarios. “The gas crisis team is closely monitoring the current situation. The safety of the supply is now guaranteed and is constantly being checked,” the spokesman said.

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Gas storage as a buffer system suffers

According to the Russian company Interfax, the creation of Russian gas reserves in European storage facilities will be banned in the future. It was not initially clear how such a ban would be implemented. There are 47 underground storage facilities at 33 locations in Germany by about 25 companies. Gas storage compensates for gas consumption fluctuations, thus creating a kind of buffer system for the gas market.

Storage tanks are usually filled well at the beginning of the heating season in the fall, and its volumes decrease in the spring. On cold winter days, 60 percent of gas consumption in Germany is covered by German storage facilities. Under the new savings law, they must be 90 percent full by November 1st. Last Monday, storage tanks were almost 39 percent full – and the trend is growing.

Germany’s largest storage operator is the energy group Unifor, which accounts for a quarter of Germany’s storage capacity. However, the largest single storage facility is operated by Gasprom German subsidiary Astro, which is subject to new restrictions.

The storage facility is located in Rehton, Lower Saxony. It accounts for one-fifth of German capacity. Most recently, however, no gas was stored in the Rehten storage facility, with a filling rate of 0.6 percent at the start of last week. The filling resumed just last weekend. Last Thursday (May 5) the Federal Network Agency said, “We are actively working on purchasing large quantities of gas for this storage facility. The goal is to reach the 80 percent filling level by October 1st.

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Announced a setback from Russia

Affected companies in Germany, other EU countries, the United States and Great Britain were subjected to Western sanctions during the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. In early April, Federal Network Minister Robert Hebeck temporarily appointed the Federal Network Agency to the German subsidiary of the Russian state-owned company Gasprom, following the abandonment of the Russian parent company Gasprom.

Hebek justified this as a violation of the ambiguous legal relations and reporting rules. Its purpose is to ensure supply security.

The Kremlin announced countermeasures. In early May, Putin issued a decree banning any Russian company from doing business with listed companies and individuals. No raw materials or raw materials should be exported to them. “Therefore the specifications must be made within ten days,” the Ministry of Economic Affairs said.

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