The Kremlin has taken full control of the Sakhalin-2 oil and gas project, which could force Shell and two Japanese investors, Mitsui and Mitsubishi, out of the Russian Far East, escalating the energy war with the West. Sakhalin Investment Co. accounts for 4 per cent of global LNG exports, and more than 50 per cent of the company's shares are owned by Gazprom, with the foreign companies mentioned sharing the remaining 50 per cent. The new measure created a new company that will assume all rights and obligations, and although nothing changes for Gazprom, the foreign companies will have to apply to the government and will have to get Kremlin approval to stay.
Western companies are under increasing pressure in this energy war and are leaving Russia or planning to do so, meanwhile, the Kremlin is expected to soon "allow the state to seize the assets of Western companies that decide to leave."
In addition, annual maintenance work on the Nord Stream 1 pipeline began on Monday, officially cutting off gas supplies to Germany for ten days, worrying Western governments and markets that the Kremlin will exploit the situation by prolonging the outage. Before the scheduled maintenance, Russia had already decreased gas supplies through the pipeline by 40 per cent; cutting them off for longer than the planned ten days will disrupt winter storage plans, generating strategic leverage for the Kremlin.