War, energy, sanctions: the Petroleum flowing in the oil pipelines arriving in Europe dictates the political strategies. Like the clear decision of Germany which nationalized two German branches of Rosneft, the Russian oil giant. The Scholz government it is preparing for the possibility of Russia suspending oil exports, as it has already done with gas. He took a direct route: the expropriation of the Russian subsidiaries Rosneft so that he could take control of the Pck refinery, the fourth largest in Germany which also supplies parts of western Poland and is located in the city of Schwedt (110 kilometers north of Berlin, on the border with Poland). The “Druschba” pipeline, known as “Friendship Pipeline”which arrives in Schwedt is strategic: it supplies 90% of the fuel of the capital Berlin, including BER airport. There this choice is also dictated by compliance with the European commitment to eliminate imports of Russian oil by the end of the year.
The name “Pipeline of Friendship” is due to the fact that in the 1960s it supplied oil to the countries of the former Soviet bloc and today to Western Europe. In fact, today it is the main artery for the transport of Russian (and Kazakh) oil to Europe.
Schwedt’s plants until Friday were majority owned (54%) by the Russian oil group, Rosneft, which reacted with a very harsh statement in which the German decision is defined as an illegal expropriation. They write that it is a consequent action «the situation created intentionally by the relevant EU sanctions and by the actions of the German and Polish regulators with the aim of seizing the assets». Faced with a decision that Rosneft considers “not temporary”, the Russian group is threatening “legal action” to defend the interests of its shareholders. For Rosneft, expropriation represents “a violation of all the fundamental principles of a market economy and of the civil foundations of a modern society built on the principle of the inviolability of private property.” The Russian group, which claims to have continued “to fully fulfill its commitments on the supply of petroleum products”, recalls having argued investments in its German refineries for € 4.6 billion. The German government has moved following one energy security law.
In all, the refineries involved in this operation are three and supply 12% of the German oil requirement. These are PCK Schwedt in Brandenburg, MiRo in Baden-Wuerttemberg and Bayernoil in Bavaria.
Gas, the decision on the price cap postponed to October. Putin threatens but is more isolated (and in trouble for the Ukrainian offensive)
Rosneft, Germany places it in trust
“This is a far-reaching energy policy decision to protect our country“Chancellor Olaf Scholz said at the press conference where he officially announced that the Schwedt refinery comes under the control of the German Federal Networks Regulatory Agency. The regulator has stated that the original owner can now no longer issue instructions to industrial complexes. The plans, reports the Reuters agency, include a “package for the future” with over 1 billion euros (996.10 million dollars) of investments in the states of eastern Germany, with 825 million euros destined for Schwedt alone. “Russia, we have known for some time, is no longer a reliable supplier of energy“Scholz said. “We didn’t take this decision lightly, but it was inevitable“..
The acquisition of Schwedt could now trigger retaliatory measures from Moscow. Scholz said Germany has calculated a possible sudden interruption of crude oil supplies from Russia. A political document released by Berlin on Friday showed that it is in talks with the Kazakhstan government to secure oil supplies to Schwedt. There is also an alliance with Poland to supply the Brandenburg refinery with alternative raw materials to the Russian one: the oil pipelines that cross the port of Gdansk.CopyAMP code
The German government did the same thing with Gazprom last April: put SEFE, formerly known as Gazprom Germany, under trust. Berlin is grappling with the interruption of gas flows from Nord Stream 1, which was its main gas supply route. Following Friday’s decision, the Federal Networks Agency will also acquire the shares of Rosneft Deutschland in the MiRo refinery in Karlsruhe and in the Bayernoil refinery in Vohburg.
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