Sunday, March 13, 2022

Ukraine 05

Who owns our gas?

A few fields away from my house on the Lincolnshire Marsh is a small gas field that has been in production, albeit intermittently, for a couple of decades. It stopped producing when the Theddlethorpe Gas Terminal closed but work is currently proceeding to reconnect the field directly to the National Grid pipeline and then restart production.

And what do you know? Saltfleetby has its own oligarch in the shape of Patrick Meade, 8th Earl of Clanwilliam and inextricable links to Russia. Paddy Clanwilliam is the non-executive director of Angus Energy, the company that now operates the Saltfleetby gas field. He also chairs London-listed Eurasia Drilling Company, Russia’s largest oilfield services company, a non- executive director of FTSE premium listed Polyus Gold, Russia’s largest gold company. He has held the position of Independent Member of the Board of Directors at AFK Sistema OAO, since June 29, 2015. Sistema is one of the largest private investors in the Russian economy.

Paddy Clanwilliam is five years younger than Boris Johnson so their paths at Eton may not have been close, but he has been active in the Conservative Party, as a Councillor for Chelsea and Kensington and as a party donor.

The ownership of the Saltfleet gas field has been complex. Angus Energy has a partner in Saltfleetby Energy Limited. This company has undergone a few name changes over the years, Wingas Storage UK Ltd (owned by the Russian state owned Gazprom, via a German subsidiary), Roc Oil (UK) Ltd and Candecca Resources Ltd. Companies House lists Saltfleetby Energy as having had 59 directors, but 58 of them, including several Russians, have resigned, leaving just one, Paul Forrest. Open Corporates gives first in the list of ‘Ultimate Beneficial Owners’ as the Russian Federation.

The Earl of Clanwilliam's coat of arms.

As I suggested previously, it would be a good thing if the West stopped all payments for oil and gas to Russia forthwith. Let's add to the total embargo the removal of any possibility that the beneficial owner of Saltfleetby Gas Field, the Russian Federation, can profit from gas production in Lincolnshire.
Post script: Here is the letter that I have written to my MP, Victoria Atkins, and three Lincolnshire County Councillors, Martin Hill, Colin Davie and Daniel McNally.

The Saltfleetby Gas Field, on the Lincolnshire Marsh, is operated by Angus Energy, under the chairmanship of Patrick Meade, 8th Earl of Clanwilliam, and Saltfleetby Energy. The beneficial owner of Saltfleetby Energy is The Russian Federation, and Paddy Clanwilliam accumulated much of his fortune from his interests in the Russian oil and gold industries.

While it is appreciated that there is a strategic argument in favour of developing onshore gas production, under the present circumstances it is undesirable that the Russian Federation benefits from such production.

Gas production stopped in 2017 with the closure of Theddlethorpe Gas Terminal, which left the field stranded. Lincolnshire County Council granted planning consent to Angus Energy to reconfigure the site so that it could be reconnected to the National Transmission System. Production is expected to resume shortly.

Please outline what steps you will take to ensure that Mr Putin receives no money from Lincolnshire gas production.

16/03/2022 Post-Post script:
Further delving into Companies House revealed this document, which suggests that the Russian Federation may no longer be a beneficial owner of Saltfleetby Energy.

However, there is another company, named Saltfleetby Energy Europe, also run by Paul Forrest, the beneficial owner of which is still recorded as The Russian Federation.


Blogger 4caster said...

We must not punish anyone solely for being Russian. We should only penalise those with links to the Kremlin. When WW2 started, the British government confiscated the assets of all Germans living here. That included Jewish refugees. We must not make that mistake again. Near Hull there lives a Russian man who has been delivering humanitarian supplies to Ukraine. I salute him!

12:50 am  
Blogger biffvernon said...

Well said 4caster. What I am calling for is not allowing the profits from gas production in Lincolnshire be sent to Russia to support Mr Putin's regime. There are, of course, many millions of excellent Russian people.

7:51 am  

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