Campaign by NGOs Urgewald and Ecodefense also identified JPMorgan Chase as the top foreign bankroller of Russian oil and gas.

April 8, 2022

German environment and human rights NGO Urgewald and the Russian environment NGO Ecodefense have called on foreign companies to halt their coal, oil and gas production in Russia and cancel all joint ventures with Russian energy companies in the country and abroad.

The NGOs’ ‘Defuel Russia’s war machine’ campaign has also uncovered on its website the biggest financial backers of Russia’s fossil fuel industry.

Research by the NGOs revealed that 20 international oil and gas companies continue to maintain their stakes in 14 oil and gas joint ventures in Russia and that, by doing so, they are “pour[ing] fresh money into Putin’s war chest”.

Despite some Western oil and gas companies, including BP, Shell, Equinor and Exxon, having exited their Russian joint ventures, the NGOs found that they have not cancelled their joint ventures with Russian fossil fuel companies abroad.

Shell and BP are still cooperating with Lukoil on several oil and gas projects in Asia and the Middle East, according to the NGOs’ research.

Currently, 41 international oil and gas companies are collaborating with Russia’s Rosneft, Gazprom, Lukoil, and Novatek in 34 international joint ventures to extract oil and gas.

It claimed that four of the 41 companies – TotalEnergies SE, Wintershall Dea, Inpex, and Mubadala Petroleum – are also active within Russia, which brings the total number of international companies with stakes in joint ventures with Russian energy companies to 57.

Heffa Schuecking, director of Urgewald said its research shows that “most energy companies are refusing to put their money where their mouth is”.

“Apart from a handful of notable exceptions, international oil and gas companies and European utilities have kept their connections to the Russian energy sector intact. These companies were already profiteering at the expense of our climate; now they are also an active source of funding for Putin’s brutal war,” Schuecking said.

“We call on them to cease all energy imports from Russia and to exit all joint ventures with Russian companies, both in Russia and abroad. If they do not have the moral fiber and the will to do so, governments must step in and finally impose sanctions that defuel Russia’s war machine.”

According to Urgewald, the global banking sector provided a total of $72.7 billion in financing to the eight major Russian oil and gas companies between January 2019 and March 2022.

JPMorgan Chase was the top foreign bankroller of Russian oil and gas with over $5 billion in loans and underwriting, followed by China’s Eximbank and China Development Bank with about $2.5 billion each.

Last Updated: 8 April 2022