Gazprom Germania unit here could shut, on Russian sanctions

Screws tightened following Moscow's move on entities supplying to Europe

Russian sanctions on Gazprom Germania and its various subsidiaries around the world could force the Singapore unit to cease operations, industry sources told The Straits Times.

Gazprom Germania was part of the giant Russian gas producer Gazprom, whose subsidiaries supply Europe with gas, but it was cut loose last month when the parent company gave up ownership of the German firm without explanation.

The screws were tightened on Wednesday when Moscow placed sanctions on the company and other entities servicing Europe's energy needs.

Media reports also suggest that the British government was considering temporarily taking over a unit - Gazprom Marketing & Trading (M&T).

The Russian move has raised questions around the ownership status of the subsidiary here - Gazprom Marketing & Trading Singapore.

Its website states that it trades liquefied natural gas (LNG), crude oil, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and currency while also running a shipping desk.

Dr Adi Imsirovic, a senior research fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies and former global head of oil at Gazprom M&T in Britain, said the Singapore office had around 30 people when he left the company in 2020.

Mr Henning Gloystein, director of energy, climate and resources at Eurasia Group, noted: "Given Singapore has also introduced sanctions on Russia, it seems likely that the Singapore entity will have to either be passed into a new ownership structure or cease operations."

When The Straits Times visited the Singapore office of Gazprom M&T at Ocean Financial Centre in the Central Business District on Thursday, staff said the managing director, Mr Serguei Edrenkine, was not available to discuss the Russian government's moves.

Mr Gloystein said the impact on Singapore's LNG supply would be minimal, despite the Moscow sanctions: "Gazprom and Russia as a whole have not been major LNG suppliers to Singapore over the past years, so a cessation of Russian LNG would not be a big problem."

Mr Hengky, who goes by one name, a senior LNG analyst at Refinitiv which is a unit of the London Stock Exchange Group, said Singapore imports most of its gas from Indonesia and Malaysia, adding that Russian LNG shipments were rare.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 14, 2022, with the headline Gazprom Germania unit here could shut, on Russian sanctions. Subscribe