German government on Friday seized three oil refineries in the country owned by Russian energy giant Rosneft in its latest effort to deal with a mounting energy crisis in Europe as winter draws near.
The shares of the refineries — PCK Schwedt, MiRo in Karlsruhe and Bayernoil in Vohburg are now under the control of a German government agency, Germany’s economy ministry said in a statement.
“The trustee administration counteracts the impending threat to the security of the energy supply and lays an important foundation for the preservation and future of the Schwedt location,” it said.
“The decision is accompanied by a comprehensive package for the future, which will bring a transformation boost to the region and support the refinery, to ensure the supply of oil via alternative delivery routes,” it added.
Germany has committed to halting imports of oil from Russia under European Union sanctions that come into effect in December.
The ministry said the commitment threatens the future operations of the refineries, given their ownership.
The PCK Schwedt refinery is a major source of fuel for Berlin, Germany’s capital city.
Rosneft Deutschland accounts for 12% of Germany’s oil processing capacity, making it one of the biggest oil processing companies in the country, the ministry said.
Germany imports crude oil worth several hundred million dollars from Russia each month via its units, it added.
Germany has been combating crippling energy crisis as Russia chokes off supply to the nation in retaliation to Western sanctions imposed on Moscow.
European leaders have accused Moscow of “weaponising” its energy supplies as it completely halted flows of natural gas via the key Nord Stream 1 pipeline.
Germany like other European countries is scrambling to find ways to secure fuel supplies before winter hits, with its usual seasonal rise in demand.
It has stockpiled gas and has brought in measures such as reviving coal-fueled power plants to generate electricity to help secure the energy needed.
Rosneft Oil, Russia’s largest state-run oil company, reported that profits climbed 13% in the first half of 2022 to about 432 billion rubles, or roughly $7.2 billion.
Rosneft benefited from the expensive global crude prices, making more net income than the previous year despite sanctions from Western nations aimed at squeezing Moscow’s ability to fund its war in Ukraine.
Ifunanya Ikueze is an Engineer, Safety Professional, Writer, Investor, Entrepreneur and Educator.
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