The French energy giant is accused of supplying fuel to Russian bombers

Hydrocarbons extracted at the Termokarstovoye deposit in Siberia are converted into jet fuel, which is eventually transported to two air bases near the border with Ukraine, the journalists write.

Air force units stationed there are accused by human rights organizations Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International of bombing Ukrainian civilians, including a March 16 strike on a drama theater building in the southeastern port city of Mariupol. Hundreds of people are believed to have died in the attack, which Amnesty calls a war crime.

TotalEnergies, formerly known as Total, owns 49 percent. the 2021 report of Terneftegaz, which operates the Termokarstovoje gas field, shows.

The other 51 percent shares belong to the Russian company Novatek, but TotalEnergies owns 19.4 percent. shares of this company.

“Le Monde” writes that natural gas condensate is extracted from the field – together with gas, a liquid fraction of hydrocarbons is extracted, which is pumped through a pipeline to Novatek’s Purovsk processing plant.

From there, the gas condensate is transported by rail for further processing into aviation fuel in the southern Siberian city of Omsk.

Since the beginning of this year, some of this fuel has reached air bases on the border with Ukraine, Le Monde writes, citing data obtained from the financial information company Refinitiv. Such supply was carried out for the first time since 2017.

Between February, when Russia invaded Ukraine, and July, 42,700 were transported to the Morozovsk and Malshev bases. tons of this fuel, the data show.

This amount is “enough to fill 3,400 [naikintuvų] Suchoy Su-34 fuel tanks,” the investigative journalism group Global Witness says on its website.

“No information”

Most of the international energy giants stopped operations in Russia when it launched its invasion of Ukraine, although in many cases it cost them dearly. TotalEnergies said it would stop buying Russian oil by the end of this year, but avoided giving up its gas business in Russia.

TotalEnergies CEO Patrick Pouyanne said in March that gas fields operated by joint ventures with Russia “will continue to operate – whether we withdraw or not.” He emphasized that the energy resources extracted there are vital for Europe.

The company provided detailed responses to the Le Monde article and noted that the gas condensate extracted from the Termokarstovoje deposit is only 7 percent by volume. raw materials processed at the Novatek company in Omsk.

“We don’t know what would give anyone a reason to say that the gas condensate produced by Terneftgaz is being used to make aviation fuel used by Russian warplanes,” TotalEnergies added.

The company also says it has no information about Novatek’s independent sales to the Russian market and has no control over such sales.

“As Novatek’s minority shareholder, TotalEnergies does not have full control over its operations,” nor does it make decisions about Terneftegaz’s operations, the French energy giant added.

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