Germany seizes control of 3 oil refineries owned by Russian giant Rosneft to brace for winter energy crisis
- Germany took control Friday of Russian-owned Rosneft's subsidiary in the country, including 3 oil refineries.
- The move secures a refinery key to fuel for Berlin, which is threatened by an EU ban on Russian oil.
The 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 European energy crisis stoked by Moscow.
The move puts shares of the refineries — PCK Schwedt, MiRo in Karlsruhe and Bayernoil in Vohburg — under the control of a 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.
The PCK Schwedt refinery is a major source of fuel for Berlin, Germany's capital city.
Germany has committed to halting imports of oil from Russia under European Union sanctions that come into effect in December. That threatened the future operations of the refineries, given their ownership, according to the ministry.
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 caught in the heart of a crippling energy crisis as Russia chokes off supply to the nation in retaliation to Western sanctions imposed on Moscow. Its leaders have accused Moscow of "weaponizing" its energy supplies as it cut then completely halted flows of natural gas to Germany via the key Nord Stream 1 pipeline.
Like other European countries dependent on Russian energy imports, Germany 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.
The move comes after 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.
Expensive global crude prices allowed Rosneft to rake in more net income than the prior year despite sanctions from Western nations aimed at squeezing Moscow's ability to fund its war in Ukraine.
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