The subsidiaries of the giants Gazprom and Rosneft are key players in the country’s energy infrastructure. Meeting of German political and economic leaders “before the ruins” cooperation with Russia, which has long been perceived as a guarantee of détente with the regime of Vladimir Putin, notes Spiegel magazine.“They must face the facts continues weekly : they appealed not to agents of change within Russia, but perhaps to Trojan horses from the Kremlin.
The case of Gazprom Germany
In early April, the German government made an unprecedented decision to temporarily take control of Gazprom’s German subsidiary, a drastic measure justified by an opaque transfer of ownership of the company. Economy Minister raised the stakes “public order and security” National.
And for good reason: Gazprom’s Rehden reservoir (northwest) in Lower Saxony accounts for about 20% of Germany’s total gas storage. With a capacity of 4 billion cubic meters of gas, it is positioned as the largest in Europe. Belonging until 2015 to the German group BASF, it was sold to Astora, a subsidiary of Gazprom. The Reden Reservoir is only 0.5% full.
Astora has additional storage facilities in Jemgum, on the Dutch border, and in Haidach, Austria. Gazprom Germania also owned a stake in a large storage facility in a salt cave near Hamburg.
Gas pipelines under the Russian flag
Gascade, one of the largest gas distribution network operators in Germany, is also 50.03% owned by Gazprom-Germany. The company describes its network of 3,200 kilometers of gas pipelines as “Natural Gas Transportation Hub in Europe”. Its pipes, called Eugal, Midal, Stegal or Weda, transport raw materials to the German metropolitan areas.
On its website, the company claims to operate independently: “Gascade’s transportation activities are not influenced by the Gazprom Group or any other shareholder.”Other important links, such as the North European gas pipeline NEL and the Opal gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea, are owned by Wiga transports, in which Gazprom Germania owns a 49.98% stake.
The rest of Gascade and Wiga Transport are owned by the German group Wintershall Dea, owned by a third party of Russian oligarch Mikhail Fridman, who is now under Western sanctions. With a market share of around 20%, Wingas, a 100% subsidiary of Gazprom-Germany, plays a leading role in gas distribution, in particular to German utilities, industrial plants and power plants.
The control of the German state over the subsidiaries of Gazprom is scheduled until September 30. During this period, the government will have to choose between nationalization and sale to a new owner.
Same situation with oil.
The Russian oil giant’s Rosneft Germany subsidiary claims to supply a quarter of Germany’s total crude oil imports. The company is the majority owner of the PCK refinery in Schwedt, east of Berlin. This facility can process about 11.6 million tons of crude oil per year, which corresponds to about 11% of the total oil consumption in Germany.
Rosneft wants to buy out a 37.5% stake in refineries owned by the Anglo-Dutch group Shell, increasing its stake to 92%.
The Federal Cartel Administration approved this deal a few days before the start of the war. Currently, the Ministry of Economy is studying the possibility of stopping the purchase.
Rosneft in Germany also owns 24% and almost 29% of the shares in the large oil refineries Miro and Bayernoil in southern Germany. Like Gazprom in the gas sector, Rosneft is also one of the largest oil distributors and logistics companies. According to the daily newspaper Handelsblatt, the group’s companies serve 4,000 major customers in Germany.