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British Gas owner follows BP and Shell in cutting Russia ties

Gazprom supplies gas to Centrica, which it then sells to British households.
Gazprom supplies gas to Centrica, which it then sells to British households. Photograph: Sergei Ilnitsky/EPA

The British Gas owner Centrica has become the third big British energy firm to cut ties with Russia within a week, echoing BP and Shell by announcing the end of its gas supply agreement with Kremlin-controlled Gazprom.

Chris O’Shea, the Centrica chief executive, said: “We are shocked by the events unfolding in Ukraine and the needless loss of lives.

“We intend to exit our gas supply agreements with Russian counterparts, principally Gazprom, as a matter of urgency.

“We are working through the details of how best to do this. Additionally we will ensure we are compliant with all relevant sanctions.”

Gazprom supplies gas to Centrica, which it then sells to British households.

The agreement is understood to account for a fraction of what Centrica supplies to its customers and the gas is not physical gas molecules from Russia.

The partnership is not covered by sanctions but Centrica, Britain’s biggest supplier of gas and electricity, has begun talks with Gazprom about unwinding the deal.

Shell said on Monday evening that it would withdraw from its own partnership with Gazprom, signalling an exit from assets worth $3bn, including a 27.5% stake in the vast Sakhalin-2 gas project.

BP had earlier vowed to offload its $14bn stake in the Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft.


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