TotalEnergies of France Will Limit Its Oil Investment in Russia – The New York Times

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TotalEnergies, the French oil company with large natural gas investments in Russia, said on Tuesday that it would no longer provide capital for new projects in the country in response to the invasion of Ukraine.
But its announcement stopped short of following BP, Shell and Equinor, which had said in recent days that they would exit their Russian investments.
“TotalEnergies condemns Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine, which has tragic consequences for the population and threatens Europe,” the company said.
TotalEnergies has played a key role in developing Russia’s capabilities in liquefied natural gas. Unlike other western companies, TotalEnergies continued to forge ahead in Russia after the annexation of Crimea in 2014 prompted Western sanctions.
Now pressure may continue for the company to further disengage from Moscow. TotalEnergies said in its statement that it would implement sanctions put in place by Europe “regardless of the consequences” for its activities in Russia.
TotalEnergies has a large stake in the state-of-the art Yamal LNG facility in the Russian Arctic, which shipped its first cargoes in 2017. Gas from the Yamal facility is important to the French giant’s status as a major producer and distributor of LNG, a fuel whose consumption is expected to grow strongly in the coming decade. Yamal LNG is also well-positioned to supply Europe with gas.
The Yamal facility is controlled by Novatek, a Russian gas company in which TotalEnergies holds a 19.4 percent stake. The partners are planning another giant LNG project called Arctic LNG-2 across the Gulf of Ob from Yamal.
Shell said on Monday that it would exit its joint ventures with Gazprom, the Russian natural gas giant, a day after BP said it would sell its nearly 20 percent stake in Rosneft, the Russian state-controlled oil company.
The decision by the oil giants to back away from their oil ventures with Russia puts pressure for a similar response from Exxon Mobil, which has a sizable Russian project.
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