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Sep 15, 2022
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Billions of euros are demanded from Gazprom, robbed by Europe, to stop Nord Stream

Billions of euros are demanded from Gazprom, robbed by Europe, to stop Nord Stream

Photo: AP/TASS

The German concern Uniper, which is the largest importer of Russian gas to Germany, announced its intention to file a lawsuit against Gazprom in the Stockholm Arbitration. And he is going to recover “billions of euros” from him as compensation for the allegedly unjustified cessation of gas supplies.

It is reported by Reuters, citing sources. The agency notes that Uniper was forced to purchase gas at an inflated price from other suppliers after the Russian partner first reduced and then suspended fuel supplies through the Nord Stream gas pipeline, citing force majeure.

Recall that on August 31, the pipeline was temporarily stopped for scheduled preventive maintenance. And on September 2, Gazprom announced the complete cessation of pumping through the Nord Stream due to an oil leak at the only working turbine of the Portovaya compressor station.

Supply problems, according to Uniper, caused the company’s record losses – 12.4 billion euros. Therefore, to stabilize the business, she had to ask for help from the German government.

The amount of this assistance has already reached 19 billion euros so far. At the same time, the Finnish concern Fortum, which owns a controlling stake (78%) of Uniper shares, first provided the trader with a loan of 8 billion euros, but then refused to invest in the German subsidiary. In this connection, the German government had no choice but to buy out a 30% stake in the company, additionally financing it by 7.7 billion euros.

But the very idea of ​​suing Gazprom did not come to the Germans now. Back in late August, the CEO of Uniper Klaus Dieter Maubach accused the Russian company of non-compliance with contractual obligations. And he demanded that Gazprom compensate for shortfalls in gas purchases on the spot market (at that time, the price on the exchange for a thousand cubic meters rose to 3.3 thousand dollars). Otherwise, he did not rule out litigation, although the source of the problem is clearly not Gazprom.

The author of the Voice of Mordor Telegram channel even suggested that Uniper would win the case. The only question is how will this help the company and how will it be able to receive Gazprom’s funds?

The most “ideal option”, as he believes, “of Russia’s frozen gold and foreign exchange reserves. But there are many difficulties here, because it would be absolutely theft, and no one has yet crossed this line. You see, they remember the words Bismarckthat the Russians always come for their money.”

There is also the German property of Gazprom, recalls the “Voice of Mordor”. But “Gazprom’s underground gas storage has already been “squeezed out”, and it will be difficult to look for other significant assets.”

The arrest of the German section of Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 will not help either.

“You can even suck gas out of the latter, since both threads are filled with it, but even this is unlikely to cover at least a small part of the billions with which Uniper wants to save itself from bankruptcy,” the author writes. And offers to take away Olaf Scholz memory turbine.

“But in general, it is surprising that the concern is suing Gazprom, and not its own government, which has imposed sanctions against Russia and put its own gas concern on the brink of survival. I understand that we have been living in peace for a long time Orwellbut it may be worth reminding the German gas companies who exactly really wanted to link gas to exchange prices? It may be worth recalling who shouted very loudly that it is time to abandon Russian gas altogether?

Asked to comment on the claims of the German concern “SP” Deputy Director General of the National Energy Institute Alexander Frolov:

— Indeed, Uniper wants to receive compensation from Gazprom for the alleged damage. Chronologically, the situation is as follows.

In the second quarter of this year, gas prices slightly decreased relative to the values ​​they reached in the first quarter. And Uniper then somewhat minimized its purchases from Gazprom, and began to rely more on the volumes that are sold on the stock exchange.

Here it is necessary to clarify that Gazprom’s gas in the second quarter began to cost a thousand dollars per thousand cubic meters.

The fact is that Gazprom’s pricing in long-term contracts with European companies is also tied to stock exchange indicators. This was a consequence of the requirements put forward by the EU – to abandon the oil peg and switch to exchange peg, including in long-term contracts. The price for long-term contracts is reviewed once a quarter and is formed taking into account some average exchange indicators of the last quarter. And if in the last quarter your average stock exchange indicators significantly exceeded a thousand dollars, this actually led to the fact that in the second quarter, under long-term contracts, gas began to cost a thousand dollars or more.

And here on the stock exchange the spot gas price for April-May drops to $950. Accordingly, if you have a thousand and have obligations for a certain minimum volume, then you will take the minimum that is necessary from the exchange, simply because it is more profitable. $50 but still better value

But in mid-June, a terrible thing happens – an accident at the American Freeport LNG LNG plant, a fairly large enterprise that produces about 18 billion cubic meters of gas per year.

This was enough to affect stock trading – prices jumped. And a contradictory situation arose when it became more profitable for many others to take Russian gas. Because Russian gas for a thousand dollars turned out to be cheaper than gas that can be bought on the stock exchange.

“SP”: – It must be assumed that Uniper also returned to its “origins”?

— Yes, Uniper applied to Gazprom. But by the time she managed to apply, the history of the gas turbine from the Portovaya compressor station, which began in December, began to be realized.

These units must be periodically repaired. This is a normal manufacturing process. Siemens is responsible for the repair. But she was unable to ensure the return of the unit, which she repaired in Canada (where the manufacturer is located).

And in April it was necessary to send the next unit. But since sanctions were imposed, there was a threat of non-return of this unit as well, so they did not send it until the issue related to sanctions was resolved. And at some point, I just had to turn off this unit due to the development of an overhaul resource. Further it was dangerous to exploit.

Then several more units were turned off. And by mid-June, by the time Uniper began to sway, deliveries through Nord Stream had dropped by 67 million cubic meters per day.

At the same time, Europe was intensively pumping underground storage facilities, so gas was used not only to meet current demand, but also to solve accumulation problems. Accordingly, while the German company was swinging in this direction, several more units had to be turned off. As a result, pumping was reduced by the end of July to 32-33 million cubic meters per day. And at the beginning of September, it completely stopped.

Has this had an impact on the European market? Yes, definitely. There were requests to increase supplies.

SP: So what?

“But Gazprom said: “We cannot physically supply you with so much gas. We have a force majeure event due to Siemens’ failure to fulfill its contractual obligations to repair. In addition, we also do not have the opportunity to operate the Polish section of the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline, because our state has imposed sanctions on Polish companies, and we do not have the right to transfer funds to these companies.”

Here is the situation. Nord Stream does not work because those who were supposed to repair gas pumping units did not repair them. “Yamal-Europe” does not work, because the state has introduced counter-sanctions against “these boys.”

Therefore, Gazprom refers to the force majeure clause in the contract. And he says that “we guys are happy to bet, but we can’t.”

But, from the point of view of Uniper, this is by no means a force majeure. And it will dispute precisely this fact – they say that Gazprom had opportunities, but it did not use them, because it deliberately wanted to cause harm.

Making claims against Siemens is “not sporting” for the Germans. Although it may turn out that it is Siemens that is responsible for the situation that has now developed in the European Union.

“SP”: – Stockholm Arbitration has long been a political body, not a court. What to expect from him in this case?

– And what, really, this arbitration can do? Sell ​​Gazprom’s property in the EU to compensate for the losses of the German company? But in Germany, all the property of Gazprom has already been stolen, as in the Czech Republic. As a matter of fact, what they could steal, they stole everything.

But I would like to recall how the situation developed in the summer. When Gazprom, denoting its position of being unable to supply gas due to technical problems, referred to the failure of Siemens to fulfill its obligations, both for capital and current repairs, they suddenly announced that “we have not received any applications, and we do not know what breakdowns.

After that, Gazprom published the correspondence. And it turned out that the company, representing, as some believed, a country of order and a clean business reputation, was simply brazenly, shamelessly lying: “Here is the correspondence, here is the inbox, whose signature? And how is it that you didn’t know about it all?”

Again, Siemens is now pretending not to know what is happening with the last turbine, which was also turned off due to leaking oil. Like, they don’t know at all.

And Gazprom publishes photos – “that’s what’s happening.” And he says that “in fact, your specialists participated in everything, and the acts are signed by them.”

But Siemens will pretend to the last that it is not to blame. Because if she says that she is guilty, then, firstly, she will have to sue the German state, for which she created these uncomfortable, frankly speaking, conditions. And besides, she will have to answer in the courts for numerous lawsuits filed against her by Uniper and so on. That is, those companies that lost money because of this “wonderful” state of affairs.

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