Expert of the Association Olena Stadnik

The occupiers say that the “temporary cessation” of gas production by the Crimean illegal “enterprise” “Chernomorneftegaz” allegedly “will not be a problem for Crimea to pass the heating season.” “Gas storage facilities are 98% full,” Sergei Aksyonov reported in September 2022.

We are “extremely happy” for the optimism of the fake “head of Crimea” Aksyonov, but it would be much more honest to say: «We screwed up here. Mom, I broke “Chornomornaftogaz”!» Everything is like an old intolerant joke about two titanium balls, when an adherent of the “Russian world” broke one ball and lost the other.

“Chornomornaftogaz” is a state enterprise of Ukraine, established in 1998. All 100% of the shares are owned by “Naftogaz” of Ukraine. Until 2014, it was the largest oil and gas exploration and production company on the Ukrainian shelf of the Black and Azov Seas. The scale of gas and oil production before the occupation of Crimea was about one and a half billion cubic meters of gas and 6 thousand tons of oil per year.

In particular, these are the very “Boyko’s drilling rigs”. What is funny, even after the power of the “regionals”, after the purchase of equipment at twice the prices, no matter what happens in Ukraine, and until 2014 the company’s activities were profitable. The Odessa Gas Field was discovered, equipment was purchased, the fleet was updated: “Fedor Uryupin”, “Kalamita”, “Ocheretai”, vessels of the “Crew-Boat” and “Crew-Supplier” types.

The corruption scandal of 2011 affected the reputation of officials from among the “regionals”, but Ukraine was able to effectively carry out drilling and exploration work at the expense of the company. A pipeline string from the Odessa Gas Field was thrown. At the same time, the Crimea had enough produced gas only for itself.

Already after the criminal seizure of towers and infrastructure, in 2019, the former deputy head of the Russian Ministry of energy, Andrey Cherezov, reported that “Chernomorneftegaz”, controlled by the aggressor, had pumped 1.4 billion cubic meters of gas into the Glebovske Underground Storage Facility in the Crimea. “We have more gas than the Crimea can consume at this stage,” he said.

But our sources insist that all the current statements by the occupiers about the “export opportunities” of the captured company are nothing more than a fake. Before the occupation, in cold winters, additional capacity was provided at the expense of mainland Ukraine. That is why, perfectly understanding the situation, the Kremlin was forced to throw illegal pipelines from Russia, in particular the “Kuban-Crimea”.

“In 2013, “Chornomornaftogaz” produced about 1.65 billion cubic meters of gas, which provided Crimea with 82% of consumption …, the rest of the gas was supplied to the Crimea from mainland Ukraine,” Forbes wrote.

In 2014, many employees of the company refused to go over to the side of the occupiers and work with them. There are no exact figures on the “profit” of the fake Crimean clone of the captured enterprise after 2014, but it can be said for sure that this illegal “Chernomorneftegaz” has become unprofitable and “subsidized”. The only thing that now formally maintains apparent viability is the illegal pipelines from the territory of Russia.

After the well-known events on the platforms of “Chornomornaftogaz” related to the large-scale aggression of Russia at sea in the summer of 2022, production was stopped. But this was only a catalyst for the death of the fake “enterprise”. The beginning was laid back in 2014 due to the occupation of the peninsula and the criminal usurpation of assets, equipment and fleet.

“Today, all the activities of the “enterprise” are based on a corruption component, because it is actually unprofitable. Just through left-wing padding companies, Russia is trying to somehow compensate for the loss of technology and industry specialists. Previously, this method was directly called industrial espionage. But even he, as shown by Soviet practice, is not able to make the branches of the enterprise competitive. Boris Deutsch and the scheme organized by him with semi-legal gas stations in Crimea immediately come to mind,” the ARC experts comment on the situation.

For a long time there were rumors that in this illegal “company” the Gorlovka terrorist with a Crimean past, Bezler, was the “head of security”, and the fake structure itself was at one time “headed” by the sister of Natalia Poklonska.

The occupiers’ propagandists from the “competing structure” themselves wrote about an uncomplicated combination. In 2015, the then illegal “prosecutor of the Crimea” Natalia Poklonska announced “multi-million dollar violations revealed at the “Chernomorneftegaz” enterprise”.

As the “drain tanks” of the occupiers wrote, at the same time, a certain “check” then ended in nothing, and the sister of the fictitious “prosecutor” Elena Osadcha unexpectedly became a criminal “deputy general director of the enterprise” with a good “salary”, only the “basic wages” of which was 200 thousand rubles.

In 2020, Osadcha “moved” to the fake “chair of the chairman of the administration” of the coastal village of Uyutne in the Saki District, where she grew up. They wrote that in this status she “solves the land issue”. It is noteworthy that Osadcha then delayed the return to her “native land allotments”, trying to “mothball” herself as a fake “head of the department for personnel management and general issues”, but to no avail. Now, they say, the former “gas women” is drawn by some aggressor’s special services into the campaign on the “frond” of the same Aksyonov.

With such “management”, or rather with its absence, we can say with confidence that the Russian occupiers ruined the captured gas infrastructure. Having carried out fictitious, obviously illegal actions on racketeering, and having issued a fake “unitary enterprise” “Chernomorneftegaz”, the aggressor, as expected, made impossible his “activities” in third countries. Now the occupiers have a critical lack of equipment, and each drilling rig requires maintenance – from nuts to equipment for storing gas condensate and repairing support vessels.

“The aggressor places ephemeral hopes on China, which, by the way, itself uses the services of American companies for drilling and exploration, and, obviously, will not take risks. China always soberly assesses economic losses, especially from political decisions. The Crimean leadership of the fake “enterprise” is under sanctions from both Ukraine and Western partners, in fact, like the “enterprise” itself. International structures, such as the International Maritime Organization, do not recognize fictitious “documents” for the right to sail the seized assets. Today, it is not clear how the occupiers are able to solve the problem of the decline of the “enterprise” in the foreseeable future,” – our source comments on the situation.

Although, of course, the Kremlin will look for ways to somehow “maintain the image”, because for them any far-fetched success of an illegal enterprise and providing the Crimea with gas is the main leitmotif of the propaganda campaign of the alleged “success of the Crimean spring.”

In the regime of Russian occupation, it was no longer about the “efficiency of the enterprise”: “Chornomornaftogaz” was ingloriously killed by the aggressor, and it is only a matter of time when this will be announced. Now the occupiers “have” about 3,500 “employees”, who, in the conditions of a large-scale war, the collaborators themselves admit, “remained out of work”, because “the work of sailors, drillers is actually reduced to zero.” “Despite the forced downtime, wages to the employees of the enterprise will be paid in full,” Aksyonov said, but even if he did not completely lie, it will definitely not last long.

In 2019, the same Aksyonov stated that the invaders could criminally send the stolen “Chornomornaftogaz” jack-up drilling rigs to Syria for illegal use “on the Syrian shelf.” Ukrainian experts nevertheless insist that statements about any transfer of usurped assets are nothing more than an information campaign by the aggressor, designed to show a picture of a non-existent “effective management”. And over the past three years, the situation has not changed.

“If we are talking about “drilling rigs”, then to move them, we need specialists and equipment from factories in Singapore, which has joined the sanctions against Russia, and with a high degree of probability will refuse the aggressor any manipulations with property that was illegally taken from Ukraine. This threatens Singapore itself and its factories with sanctions and additional economic losses from the United States and Western partners, who are very carefully monitoring the situation around the operation of facilities taken from Ukraine after the start of the occupation of the Crimea. Recall that Singapore is very tough policy of combating corruption.

But even if we assume hypothetically that Russia, using bribery and blackmail of individual officials, will “stretch the deal”, another issue will arise that will require a solution for the transfer, for example, to Syria, towers. Agreements will be required with Turkey for the passage of usurped assets, which in the current situation carries great political risks for Turkey, which declares great efforts to “settle” the war of Russian against Ukraine. It is safe to say that both the United States and other countries that actively oppose the Russian aggression in Ukraine will negatively perceive such an unfriendly gesture from Istanbul. This will undermine their authority, create risks of economic pressure on Turkey and will by no means de-escalate tensions,” – our interlocutors say.

At the same time, Russia itself has no opportunities to cope with such a task, and they are not expected in the foreseeable future. Also, for the occupied Crimea, gas from the Black Sea shelf cannot be easily replaced by Russian gas.

«Nord Stream 2” did not start, and this, in turn, could also complicate Russian supplies. In winter, this means that there is no capacity to “completely supply” the occupied peninsula with Russian gas. Here such technical things as pressure in the general system of highways and pipelines will play a role. This is not solved with a tip, at the request of Gazprom or the occupational “administration”», – our interlocutors add.

The Russian “Kommersant” wrote back in 2021 that aggressor-controlled “Chernomorneftegaz” seeks to “transfer consumers to prepayment.” The sources explained the need for such a measure by “the company’s constantly falling production level with ever-increasing purchases of gas on the exchange”, as well as an attempt to “reduce the cash gap”.

So, criminal production in 2020, according to one of the interlocutors of this aggressor’s “media”, amounted to 1 billion cubic meters (let us recall that this is one and a half times less than production in 2013), but “purchasing gas through the exchange” – 2.2 billion cubic meters. The last time the fake “Chernomorneftegaz” published “reporting on the results of 2019”, and then even it recognized “loss of the company” amounted to 1.6 billion rubles.

Before the large-scale Russian aggression, even the occupiers-controlled “media” noted the decline of the “enterprise”, stating that since 2014 it allegedly did not carry out “any active work on the search and development of new deposits”, and that “the production of Crimean gas was constantly decreasing”. At the same time, it is added that a little more than 2 billion cubic meters are “delivered through the gas pipeline from the Krasnodar Territory”, which the aggressor illegally launched in 2016.

In September 2022, Aksyonov promised to “freeze gas tariffs for Crimean residents for two years” and that allegedly “funds for compensating “Chernomorneftegaz” were allocated on behalf of the president.” However, as independent experts say, no one saw any “funds”, and the Russian occupiers are already solving the problem of “new oil” in the form of “paying consumers” “creatively”, sharply “raising” “tariffs for heat and light” in December.

The aggressor-controlled generating power plants and heating plants of the occupied Crimea run on gas, and therefore its “cost” here can easily be “shifted onto the end user”, arranging another large-scale scam within the aggressor-controlled “Krymgazseti”.

But here, this winter, the gas for fraud with “tens of thousands of payments”, with “losses in the networks” and “calorie coefficients”, will not be stolen from the shelf, but mainly illegally pumped to the peninsula from Russia, from “Gazprom”; and therefore it is possible that Aksyonov and the “gas accountants” behind him will have a “difficult conversation” with “serious uncles” about this.

In addition, we should not forget about the aggressor’s constant statements about supposedly “prepared terrorist attacks”. Until February 2022, we already wrote about how the same fake “Chernomorneftegaz” and “Krymgazseti” “earn heavily” on the non-existent “protection of objects”; later in this area the situation did not change. In the illegal ‘case” of Nariman Dzhelal, we recall, the Russian occupiers fabricated precisely the “undermining of the gas pipeline”. Therefore, nothing will prevent the aggressor’s special services from staging a provocation and once again “writing off” the collapse of the gas infrastructure of the peninsula to some virtual “Ukrainian terrorists”.

In this regard, it is no longer surprising that it was the aforementioned Osadcha, together with such “disenfranchised” from the aggressor as Natalya Poklonska herself and Ruslan Balbek, described by us, “suddenly” became the formal “organizers”, controlled by certain forces of the Kremlin, of the “movement” aimed at “removing from positions” of the same Aksyonov. On December 17, they even declared a “rally” against the “seizure of property” in Simferopol, and formally they are talking about the same lands of Uyutne. But for some reason, the smell of stolen gas is starting to smell stronger and stronger in the December sky over the peninsula.

Similar Posts