Britain prepares to temporarily nationalize Gazprom retail unit -Bloomberg News

A 3D-printed natural gas pipeline is placed in front of the featured Gazprom logo and Russian flag in this illustration, taken Feb. 8, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

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March 21 (Reuters) – The British government is preparing to step in and temporarily head the UK retail supply arm of Russian gas giant Gazprom, Bloomberg News reported Monday, as companies cut ties with Russian companies.

Officials are closely monitoring the situation at Gazprom Marketing & Trading Retail Ltd, whose ultimate parent company is Russian state-owned company Gazprom, Bloomberg reported.

The unit, which operates as Gazprom Energy, supplies just over a fifth of the UK’s commercial gas volume and serves thousands of customers, including the National Health Service.

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The company is a prime candidate for inclusion in the UK’s special government regime if it fails, to ensure supply continuity, the report said, citing a person familiar with the matter.

A government spokesman said: “We are aware that Gazprom Energy has a large presence in the non-household energy retail market.”

“Gazprom’s retail business will continue to operate in the UK and customers should make their own commercial judgments regarding the energy supply contracts they currently hold.”

The government added that Britain was in no way dependent on Russian gas, which makes up less than 4% of its stock.

Gazprom Energy did not respond to emails from Reuters asking for comment.

Meanwhile, the Sunday Times reported that Gazprom Energy has been trying to find a buyer to avoid the collapse, as many major customers seek to terminate multimillion-pound contracts in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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Reporting by Sachin Ravikumar in Bengaluru and William Schomberg and Paul Sandle in London; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Jan Harvey

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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