France refused to help Russian megaproject

French authorities and banks have refused to participate in the Russian Arctic LNG 2 project. And this despite the fact that one of the project shareholders is the French company Total. It’s not about sanctions – or else it could be one of the sanctions options, at least in the future.

The French state investment bank Bpifrance refused to participate in the project. Commercial banks are also not involved in this project.

As far as can be judged, the authorities and banks of France refuse to participate in the project under pressure from environmental organizations, which declare concern about climate problems and nature conservation in the Arctic. At least the environmentalists welcomed this decision. Moreover, for more than a year they have been campaigning against France’s participation in this project, RIA Novosti reports.

Arctic LNG 2 is Novatek’s second large-scale liquefied natural gas production project after Yamal LNG. Gas for Arctic LNG 2 is planned to be produced at the Utrenneye field in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug.

The project plans to build three production lines with a capacity of 6.6 million tons each (19.8 million tons of LNG per year). The shareholders are Novatek (60%), French Total (10%), Chinese CNOOC (10%), subsidiary of the Chinese CNPC – CNODC (10%) and a consortium of Japanese Mitsui & Co and JOGMEC – Japan Arctic LNG (10% ).

In Total, it should be noted, they did not declare their participation in the project.

Recall that in 2014 the European Union imposed sanctions against Russia, banning investments in the infrastructure, transport and energy sectors of Russia, as well as the production of oil and gas in the Russian Federation. European companies are prohibited from supplying equipment for these sectors, as well as providing financial services to companies from the infrastructure, transport and energy sectors in Russia.

In the same year, the United States banned the supply of equipment to Russia for deep oil and gas production, the development of the Arctic shelf, and the production of shale oil and gas reserves. Also, supplies to Russia of drilling platforms, parts for horizontal drilling, subsea equipment, offshore equipment for working in the Arctic, software for hydraulic fracturing were prohibited.

But these are sanctions due to the political situation. The question is whether refusal to participate in projects under the pretext of caring for the environment can be considered sanctions and how often this will be done.

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