The French oil company TotalEnergies is continuing its operations in Russia. Moreover, according to a report in French daily Le Monde on August 24, it is accused of supplying fuel for Russian aircraft that are currently bombing Ukraine.
TotalEnergies has also faced criticism in the West for not following other major Western energy companies and selling off its Russian assets.
“The French oil group is the only one among its peers to continue its activities in Russia. It receives income from the sale of gas condensate, which, after conversion to kerosene, is refueled in Russian aircraft. In Russia, TotalEnergies, together with its local partner Novatek, operates a field that produces gas condensate, a liquid hydrocarbon that, after conversion to kerosene, is used to refuel Russian warplanes fighting in Ukraine. Terneftegaz, which is developing this field, is 49% owned by TotalEnergies and 51% by Novatek, the report says.
Though TotalEnergies has said it does not have any Russian infrastructure that could supply the Russian military, its management has admitted it owns a stake in Terneftegaz and stated that all the gas condensate produced by the company was supplied to Novatek.
“Gas condensate produced by Terneftegaz is sold in full to Novatek. TotalEnergies confirms its strong condemnation of Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine,” the company’s official statement reads.
Yet, Le Monde traced the supply chain and found it leads from the Thermokarstov gas field in Siberia to two military air bases (Morozovska and Malchevo), each of which is home to a squadron of multi-role combat aircraft.
According to reports by Global Witness and Amnesty International, the Russian SU-25, SU-30 or SU-34 warplanes that carried out massive attacks on Mariupol were based at the Morozovsk Air Base, located 350 kilometers from Mariupol in Rostov Region.
At the same time, TotalEnergies made a decision on March 22, posted on its official website, to refuse to buy Russian oil and gas products. The company also announced the suspension of investment in the Arctic LNG 2 project. This happened after numerous accusations of complicity in war crimes.
“TotalEnergies has unilaterally decided not to enter into or renew contracts for the purchase of Russian oil and petroleum products in order to cease all purchases of Russian oil and petroleum products as soon as possible and no later than the end of 2022,” the company said in a statement.
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