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Russia seizes control of partly foreign-owned energy project

Russia seizes control of partly foreign-owned energy project

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin has handed full management over a significant oil and pure fuel challenge partly owned by Shell and two Japanese corporations to a newly created Russian agency, a daring transfer amid spiraling tensions with the West over Moscow’s navy motion in Ukraine.

Putin’s decree late Thursday orders the creation of a brand new firm that may take over possession of Sakhalin Power Funding Co., which is almost 50% managed by British vitality big Shell and Japan-based Mitsui and Mitsubishi.

Putin’s order named “threats to Russia’s nationwide pursuits and its financial safety” as the explanation for the transfer at Sakhalin-2, one of many world’s largest export-oriented oil and pure fuel tasks.

The presidential order provides the international companies a month to resolve in the event that they need to retain the identical shares within the new firm.

Russian state-controlled pure fuel big Gazprom had a controlling stake in Sakhalin-2, the nation’s first offshore fuel challenge that accounts for about 4% of the world’s marketplace for liquefied pure fuel, or LNG. Japan, South Korea and China are the primary prospects for the challenge’s oil and LNG exports.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov mentioned Friday that there isn’t any motive to count on a shutdown of provides following Putin’s order.

Shell held a 27.5% stake within the challenge. After the beginning of the Russian navy motion in Ukraine, Shell introduced its resolution to tug out of all of its Russian investments, a transfer that it mentioned has price at the least $5 billion. The corporate additionally holds 50% stakes in two different joint ventures with Gazprom to develop oil fields.

Shell mentioned Friday that it’s learning Putin’s order, which has thrown its funding within the three way partnership into doubt.

“As a shareholder, Shell has all the time acted in the most effective pursuits of Sakhalin-2 and in accordance with all relevant authorized necessities,” the corporate mentioned in an announcement. “We’re conscious of the decree and are assessing its implications.”

Seiji Kihara, deputy chief secretary of the Japanese cupboard, mentioned the federal government was conscious of Putin’s decree and was reviewing its impression. Japan-based Mitsui owns 12.5% of the challenge, and Mitsubishi holds 10%.

Kihara emphasised that the challenge shouldn’t be undermined as a result of it “is pertinent to Japan’s vitality safety,” including that “something that harms our useful resource rights is unacceptable.”

“We’re scrutinizing Russia’s intentions and the background behind this,” he instructed reporters Friday at a twice-daily information briefing. “We’re trying into the small print, and for future steps, I don’t have any prediction for you at this level.”

Requested throughout a convention name with reporters if Putin’s transfer with Sakhalin-2 might herald an analogous motion towards different joint ventures involving international shareholders, Peskov mentioned, “There cannot be any basic rule right here.” He added that “every case will likely be thought of individually.”

Sakhalin-2 consists of three offshore platforms, an onshore processing facility, 300 kilometers of offshore pipelines, 1,600 kilometers of onshore pipelines, an oil export terminal and an LNG plant.


AP reporters Kelvin Chan in London and Elaine Kurtenbach in Bangkok contributed to this report.

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