Germany takes control of Gazprom unit to ensure energy supply | Oil and Gas News

Gazprom’s subsidiaries in Europe are under pressure as customers and business partners refuse to do business with them.

Germany will temporarily take control of a Gazprom PJSC unit in the country as it seeks to protect the security of gas supplies.

Gazprom Germania GmbH – owner of energy supplier Wingas GmbH and a gas storage company – will be under the mandate of the German energy regulator until September 30, Economy Minister Robert Habeck told reporters in Berlin. That means the Federal Network Agency will assume the role of a shareholder and can take all necessary measures to ensure the security of supplies, he said. Ultimately, the government will not take ownership of the company.

Gazprom’s European subsidiaries are under pressure as customers and business partners refuse to do business with them, raising the prospect that some will not survive. Gazprom Germania’s Astora unit operates Germany’s largest gas storage facility in the northern town of Rehden in Lower Saxony. The site is seen as key to Germany’s energy security.

“The federal government is doing what is necessary to ensure supply security in Germany,” Habeck said in a statement Monday. “This also means that we do not allow energy infrastructure in Germany to be subject to the arbitrary decisions of the Kremlin.”

Gazprom on Friday said it no longer owns the German subsidiary, which also has commercial branches in the UK and units from Switzerland to Singapore. The Russian gas giant did not disclose new ownership, but legal filings show the transaction involved the exit of Gazprom Export Business Services LLC, owner of Gazprom Germania. In turn, a company called Palmary Corporation becomes a shareholder of Gazprom Export Business Services LLC.

It is not clear who the ultimate beneficial owner of Palmary is: it was registered in October at an address in Moscow, and since March 30 its general director is Dmitry Tseplyaev, according to the business registry. of Russia.

Habeck said the Russian gas giant had left the German subsidiary without government permission, in violation of German foreign trade laws.

It is not clear what will happen after 30 September and what impact it will have on Gazprom Germania subsidiaries from the UK to Singapore. The German unit also owns a London-based commercial arm and Gazprom Energy, a retail supplier that the UK government plans to nationalize in case it fails.

(Updates on UK units in last paragraph.)

–With support from Birgit Jennen and Carla Canivete.

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