Germany wants to become independent of Russian gas as quickly as possible. But many on the Internet believe that this is not possible – because German companies have committed themselves to purchase minimum quantities in long-term contracts.
Until the start of the Russian war against Ukraine, Germany drew much of its energy from Russia . More than a third of German crude oil came from Russia, and in the case of gas and coal it was even more than half. Since then, Germany has been trying every means possible to become less dependent on Russian energy supplies. But is that even possible?
Long-term contracts make up a large part of the gas supply
As I said, the companies are keeping a low profile when it comes to the exact details of the contracts. However, a few numbers are still leaking to the public. For example, Oliver Roeder, press spokesman for the energy company Uniper, informed the #Faktenfuchs in writing that Uniper had signed long-term gas contracts with defined delivery quantities with Gazprom. Such long-term contracts continue to form “the backbone of German gas supply”. According to Uniper research, “around 70 percent of German gas consumption is currently covered by long-term contracts”. In addition to Russia, there are also such agreements with countries such as Norway, the Netherlands and Azerbaijan.
So one thing is clear: there are long-term contracts and they make up a large part of the gas imports, for which Russia is an important supplier. But is the conclusion drawn by many users correct? That you can’t escape these payment obligations either?
At least that is the argument of some of the energy companies themselves. Uniper, for example, states that its long-term contracts with Gazprom do not provide for “a unilateral right of termination and no possibility of suspending these contracts”. And a spokeswoman for the gas trading group VNG wrote on request that “the contracts must be fulfilled and cannot be terminated without a corresponding right of termination. A unilateral termination would immediately result in claims for damages”.
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