European Oil Majors Could Create Supply Crisis With Renewables Push

U.S. and European oil majors’ commitment to moving away from fossil fuels toward renewable energy threatens oil supplies and prices, Russia’s state-run oil giant Rosneft has said, according to the Financial Times.

BP, Chevron, Eni, Equinor, ExxonMobil, Repsol, Shell and Total have to varying degrees laid out strategies they say are compatible with the Paris climate treaty. They have announced measures over the past year that include reducing the carbon intensity of their products, transitioning into renewable energy, storing “captured” CO2 underground and offsetting emissions through reforestation.

Rosneft criticized these moves in a sign of what the FT described as “a growing divide” between state-backed oil companies and the energy companies that helped shape today’s oil industry.

“It is an existential threat for supply. It is an existential threat for price volatility,” it quoted Rosneft first vice president Didier Casimiro as saying at the newspaper’s commodities summit.

“We will have a supply crunch, price volatility and, yes, higher prices,” Casimiro said.

The oil majors’ move away from their core business, he added, means other players “will need to step in” and “take that responsibility.”

Meanwhile, Rosneft is looking to double down on hydrocarbons and extract up to 5 billion tons of light-quality oil in the Arctic through its Vostok Oil project. Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin has described the project as the biggest in the history of the modern global oil industry.

The U.S. Treasury earlier this year sanctioned Casimiro and Rosneft’s Geneva-based trading arm, where he is chairman of the board and president, for allegedly propping up Venezuela’s oil sector.

Ukrainian Spies Lured Russian ‘Mercenaries’ to Belarus, Putin Says

The detention of 33 Russians described as members of the Wagner mercenary group on the eve of a disputed presidential election in Belarus was a joint U.S.-Ukrainian operation, President Vladimir Putin said Thursday.

Belarus has accused the men of seeking to destabilize the country by colluding with opposition leaders to orchestrate mass disorder. Belarus returned 32 of the detained Russians weeks later as Belarusians took to the streets to protest the results of the Aug. 9 vote in which President Alexander Lukashenko claimed victory.

“This operation was carried out jointly by Ukrainian and U.S. special services,” Putin said in a televised interview without providing evidence.

“It’s a known fact now and some participants of the process, or those who are well-informed, aren’t even hiding it.”

Putin said in the interview that the detained Russians were tricked into traveling to Belarus with forged documents “for absolutely legal work in Latin America and the Middle East.”

“In reality, they were dragged into Belarus and presented as a quote-unquote ‘strike force’ to destabilize the situation during the presidential campaign,” Putin told the Rossia 24 state broadcaster.

“Our border agents, by the way, wouldn’t have let them out of the country,” he said.

On Aug. 6, Russia’s Komsomolskaya Pravda tabloid reported that Ukrainian intelligence had lured the 33 Russian mercenaries – some of whom are Donbass war veterans – to Belarus in order to detain them, but the mission reportedly failed due to a leak. Kiev called the report “disinformation.”

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