MOSCOW, July 30 (RIA Novosti) – French energy major Total said Wednesday it was going to assess the full impact of harsher western sanctions against Russia, which is its main oil and gas supplier, The Wall Street Journal said referring to the French firm’s second-quarter estimates.
“Russia is a crucial market for Total, which expects the biggest share of its oil and gas output to come from the country by 2020,” the New York-based daily said.
The paper quoted Total’s Chief Financial Officer Patrick de la Chevardiere as saying in a conference call that Russia is “a great oil and gas country and we'll have to wait and see the nature of these new sanctions first.”
The French energy giant, which owns about 18 percent of Novatek, Russia’s second-largest gas producer, on Wednesday adjusted its second-quarter net profit estimates to post a 12 percent drop.
Earlier this month, Total stopped increasing its share in Novatek following the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine.
“We stopped buying shares in Novatek the day of the plane accident, considering all the uncertainties that this event could lead to,” the French company’s CEO was quoted as saying by the UK’s Financial Times newspaper.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Total expects its hydrocarbon production in Russia to rise to 400,000 barrels a day from 207,000 in 2013, “thanks to its partnership with Novatek and their joint project of liquefied natural gas of Yamal, off the Arctic Circle, along with China National Petroleum Corp.”
On Tuesday, the European Union agreed a new set of economic sanctions against Russia over the Ukrainian crisis, which limit access to EU capital markets for Russian state-owned financial institutions, impose an embargo on trade in arms, establish an export ban for dual-use goods for military end users, and curtail Russian access to sensitive technologies particularly in the oil sector.
Russia has repeatedly called the “language of sanctions” counterproductive and said these measures would have a boomerang effect.