Home Business amount These fossil fuel companies have sent more than $15 billion in taxes to Russia since it annexed Crimea, NGOs say

These fossil fuel companies have sent more than $15 billion in taxes to Russia since it annexed Crimea, NGOs say

They looked at royalties, export duties, bonuses, taxes and fees, as well as “government profit oil,” which includes the value of any actual oil the companies might have donated to Russia. He listed nine companies from those regions that had paid the most money to Russia. All of these payments were legal, and other multinational corporations outside the energy sector also made similar payments to the Russian state.
Shell, which is registered in the UK, sent $7.85 billion, the highest amount of listed companies, the groups said in a statement, first shared with CNN. It was followed by the American company ExxonMobil (2.81 billion dollars). Two German-registered companies, Wintershall and Wintershall DEA, which have since merged, paid a combined total of $2.86 billion. BP, the British multinational oil and gas company, paid $817 million, according to Rystad data.

The data was shared amid criticism that the West’s purchases of Russian coal, oil and gas – which are largely state-owned assets – helped fund the war of the Russia in Ukraine. The addition of taxes, fees and royalties for companies that have chosen to operate in Russia underscores the amount of capital Western energy companies have transferred to Russia.

The three groups that compiled the data said that while the $15.8 billion figure was substantial, the companies identified were also responsible for tens of billions of additional dollars paid to the Russian state because of the stakes they hold in Russian oil and gas companies.

BP until recently held a 19.75% stake in Russian energy company Rosneft, for example. Rosneft paid Russia $353.16 billion in oil taxes, royalties, royalties and profits between 2014 and 2021, according to Rystad data.

While BP may not have paid that money directly to Russia, Murray Worthy, gas campaign manager at Global Witness, said he was still responsible for the payments.

“The actual amount these companies are responsible for paying Russia is much closer to the $100 billion mark, but it’s obscured by their stakes in Russian companies. We believe BP alone is responsible for $78 billion. $.4 billion that goes to the Russian government through a stake in oil and gas giant Rosneft which he says he owned until just a few weeks ago,” he told CNN. It referred to payments made during the period between Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the end of 2021.

In a statement, he added: “Russia’s energy industry is the main source of income for Putin and companies like BP which (continued to do business with Russia despite)…the invasion of Crimea, continuing to support the money poured into its war chest, should surely wonder if they now have Ukrainian blood on their hands.”

BP to sell its stake in Russian oil giant Rosneft

BP announced it would give up that stake just days after Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022. A number of other fossil fuel companies have since followed suit.

In an email to CNN, BP spokesman David Nicholas said the company did not acknowledge the $78.4 billion figure and explained that the only amount BP paid directly to the Russian state was $350 million in taxes for the six years between 2015 and 2020. The spokesperson was unable to provide data for the full eight-year period.

“On February 27, we announced that we would leave our stake in Rosneft, that the two directors appointed by BP would resign from its board of directors with immediate effect and that we would leave our other activities in Russia with Rosneft,” said Nicholas.

BP now faces a potential loss of $25 billion from its exit.

Worthy said that while BP may deny responsibility for Rosneft’s payments to the Russian state, “it has always been more than happy to benefit from the billions that have flowed from its involvement in the business.”

While the dataset focused on payments made primarily through taxes and fees, far more money is flowing from the West to Russian state coffers in purchased oil and gas – which are used for everything from gas for home heating to fuel for cars. The true amount of money that goes from Western oil and gas companies to the Russian state would be far greater than any amount paid in taxes and royalties.

“So when Rosneft sells its products for export, those sales transactions allow it to earn most of its money,” said Alexandra Gillies, an adviser at the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI), which focuses on countries. resource-rich to achieve sustainability. .

According to a database by NRGIRosneft transferred $58.6 billion to the Russian state in 2019 alone, the last year before the pandemic.

Gillies said if Western companies choosing to leave Russia were a step in the right direction, it should have happened much sooner.

“It took this invasion of Ukraine for Western oil companies to say, ‘You know what? We don’t want to allow what this regime is doing anymore.’ They should have made this call much earlier with the invasion of Crimea, or with the repressive nature of the Putin regime, or with the interference of the Putin regime in the American elections, or the poisoning of the personalities of the opposition, including on British soil,” Gillies said.

“There have been so many moments over the past few years that should have caused Western companies to disengage from their cooperation with the regime.”

The other four companies listed in the NGO statement are France-based TotalEnergies ($568 million); Norway-based Equinor ($455 million); OMV, based in Austria ($246 million) and Trafigura, based in Switzerland ($202 million).

Rystad told CNN his datasets were based on estimates derived from the limited tax reports available.

TotalEnergies also has stakes in Russian oil and gas companies that have paid hundreds of millions of dollars more to the government, according to Rystad data.

CNN has contacted all listed companies, as well as Rosneft, for comment. ExxonMobil did not respond to CNN’s request.

Shell did not comment to CNN on the amount of money paid and pointed out a recent press release in which the company announced that it would withdraw its participation in all Russian fossil fuel activities “in a phased manner” and stop buying Russian crude oil.
Shell will no longer buy Russian oil and gas

Shell CEO Ben van Beurden also apologized in the statement after the company was criticized for buying a shipment of Russian crude oil in early March when other companies and traders shunned the product after the invasion. Russian in February.

TotalEnergies announced tuesday that it would stop buying Russian oil by the end of the year but that it would continue to buy Russian gas. The company did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.

Equinor has ended its operations in Russia and says it has stopped trading Russian oil. His spokesperson, Ola Morten Aanestad, did not confirm the $455 million figure in an email to CNN, and said it was “too early to be specific about the process of exit,” when asked if the company would definitely stay out of Russia.

A spokesperson for OMV did not comment on the amount of money it transferred to Russia at CNN’s request, and pointed to a recent statement in which the company said it was “reassessing its commitment in Russia”.

Wintershall DEA told CNN the company was “unable to verify the numbers presented to us” and that it “has always conducted our business in compliance with all applicable laws.”

A Trafigura spokesperson said the company had not paid the Russian government anything “from fossil fuel production”. The company has a 10% stake in the Vostok Oil project, of which Rosneft is the majority shareholder. The spokesperson said “no further monies have been paid” since the stake was acquired in 2020. “Trafigura has not received any dividends or similar payments from its stake in Vostok Oil.”

Lorne Stockman, co-director of research at Oil Change International, said the world must now avoid looking to other autocratic regimes to replace the fossil fuels they shun from Russia.

“Fossil fuels are the currency of despots, dictators and warmongers. Our global dependence on oil and gas is not only killing our planet, but also making the world less safe and less equal. Big Western polluters like BP and Shell have all of them were only too happy to work in countries that have despicable human rights records for over a century,” Stockman said.

“The time has come to end the age of fossil fuels.”