India and China offer Putin lifeline as US and UK gas companies REPLACED in major pipeline

Germany's reliance on Russian gas addressed by Eva Maydell

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When Russia invaded Ukraine over two months ago, Putin was dealt a hammer blow as major Western energy companies like UK’s Shell and the US’s ExxonMobil pulled out of Russian oil and gas projects. Energy forms the backbone of Russia’s economy, with revenues from oil and natural gas exports accounting for about 40 percent of the country’s budget in 2021. However, as Western countries pull out of Moscow, experts suggest the vacuum could be filled by countries in Asia, primarily China and India.

Danil Bochkov, a Russia-China-Europe expert tweeted: “China plans to substitute Shell in Sakhalin-2 project of Gazprom.

“India can buy ExxonMobil shares in Sakhalin-1 project and BP shares of Rosneft.

“Asian companies are slowly replacing the Western energy giants which joined the sanctions.

“And this trend will become stronger.”

Chinese energy companies are reportedly in talks with British energy behemoth Shell to sell its stake in the upcoming Sakhalin-2 liquefied natural gas venture.

Sakhalin-2 was touted to be one of the world’s largest oil and gas projects, along with being Russia’s first offshore gas project.

According to Shell’s own website: “Sakhalin-2 lays the foundation for Russia to become a leading energy exporter to the highly competitive energy markets of the Asia-Pacific region.”

Nearly all the gas extracted from this oilfield is sold under long-term contracts to customers in the Asia-Pacific region and North America.

The London based company, which owns a 27.5 percent holding in the venture, is in negotiations with Chinese state-run oil companies CNOOC, CNPC and Sinopec.

Meanwhile, India and Russia are also deepening their energy ties, with the two countries negotiating a six-month oil deal to import millions of barrels per month.

India is the world’s third-largest importer of oil, and has been stepping up its purchase of Russia’s crude oil supply in recent months.

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, India has purchased more crude oil from Russia in the past two months than it did in all of 2021.

Earlier this month, Nirmala Sitharaman, India’s FInance minister stated that New Delhi would continue to buy crude oil from Russia at a discount while prices in the rest of the world skyrocket.

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She said: “I would put my country’s interest first, I would put my energy security first.

“If the fuel is available at a discount, why shouldn’t I buy it?”

Although price details were not immediately available, sources said some of the barrels of Russian Urals crude were bought at a discount of $20-$25 a barrel, which is around £18.

Today, the price for a barrel of Brent crude is $108.76 (£86.57).

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