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25 Mar 2022

Global Witness

European & US energy companies responsible for nearly $ 100 bln to Putin’s war chest since Crimea invasion, NGOs claim

European and US energy companies are responsible for nearly USD 100 billion to Putin’s war chest since Crimea invasion, 25 March 2022

Revenues from oil and gas projects backed by European and U.S. companies have fueled Vladimir Putin’s regime to the tune of nearly USD 100 billion since 2014. While the Russian government has benefited from majority state-owned or state-controlled oil companies such as Gazprom and Rosneft, European and U.S.-based corporations have also spearheaded large oil and gas projects that filled Putin’s coffers. These oil majors have long sought access to Russia’s vast hydrocarbon reserves, and in many cases brought the technological and operational expertise needed to realize projects.

Oil and gas company investments have taken the form of both equity holdings, such as BP’s stake in Rosneft, and joint ventures such as ExxonMobil’s operation of the Sakhalin-1 project. Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, oil and gas companies have faced pressure to disassociate with Russian producers, but recent divestments do not change their long history of support for Putin’s regime...

In total, these eight companies — BP, Shell, Wintershall Dea, ExxonMobil, TotalEnergies, Equinor, OMV, and Trafigura — are responsible for over USD 95 billion to the Russian government via their stakes in Russian oil and gas projects and companies since 2014, with BP responsible for 80% of this total.

Ultimately, the fact that Russia’s decision to invade Ukraine was able to send global oil and gas markets spiraling is yet another reason to speed up the transition to clean energy sources like wind and solar, which are far more stable and affordable. We cannot trust the oil and gas industry — responsible not only for the climate crisis, but also conflict, displacement, and human suffering around the world — to be part of the solution to climate change...

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