What is TotalEnergies really giving up by stopping buying Russian petroleum products?

face “To the expansion of conflict” In Ukraine, TotalEnergies announced on Tuesday, March 22 that it would abandon the purchase of Russian oil or petroleum products... The French hydrocarbon giant has been criticized for choosing to continue its activities in Russia during the conflict with Ukraine and will not renew its current contract. However, this decision has no immediate effect.Is effective “as soon as possible”Specifies the press release. In other words, it will be the end of the year at the latest.

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The company had already decided to put an end to its speculative oil business. This time it’s about a long-term supply contract. To justify this decision, TotalEnergies evokes a worsening situation in Ukraine by blaming it again.Russian War of aggression “.. The group also explains that this withdrawal is possible as it has found other sources to meet Europe’s energy needs. In particular, we imported oil for German refineries and Russian diesel. This is, for example, a quarter of the diesel consumed in France.

TotalEnergies Therefore, it will replace Russia’s supply with that of other countries, especially Saudi Arabia. OPEC certainly agreed to increase its production.This is not the first step from TotalEnergies In Russia: Under pressure, the company has already announced that it will freeze future investment in the country.

By terminating the purchase of oil TotalEnergies Is he preparing for a complete withdrawal from Russia? No, as CEO Patrick Pouyané explained at the RTL on Wednesday, March 23, the company continues to rely on Russian gas.“I know how to replace this oil with this diesel.” Although it is Russian “Gas, I don’t know what to do” He showed. Indeed, she points out that the oil group is not a direct gas operator in Russia and has only three employees left today, but in terms of capital, it continues to exist very much.

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The giant intends to maintain a stake in a Russian company that owns a gas field. And TotalEnergies explains that by selling these shares, the company is in the hands of Russian investors, suggesting that it is linked to the Kremlin. Moreover, especially unlike Russian oil, Europe continues to respect Russia’s gas import contracts as it has not yet found a way to do without it.

Unlike other groups such as BP and Shell, the slow departure of French giants from Russia is explained by the fact that they are deeply betting on Russia and its gas. TotalEnergies In fact, it’s gas rather than oil group. We have invested more than € 40 billion in two huge natural gas fields beyond the Arctic Circle, promising profitability. The strategy desired by former CEO Christoph de Margery (a French businessman had become a personal friend of Vladimir Putin), who died in a plane crash in Moscow, and the war decided by the Russian president Is deeply questioned today.

This gas bend “It is absolutely essential to follow the decarbonization trajectory we are working on.” TotalEnergies points out Patrice Geoffron, a professor of economics at the University of Paris-Dofine. According to him, the incident once again highlights the European Union’s dependence on Russian gas. “Everything that was supposed to be decarbonized in 10 years at the European level needs to be overhauled with very high ambitions (55% greenhouse gas emissions by 2030). . “