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Net Zero: Energy giants divest from Russian ventures –

PTW UkraineRally 30 Canada’s minister of finance, Chrystia Freeland addresses roughly 12,000 Ukrainian supporters in Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto on Sunday. (Paige Taylor White/Toronto Star)

Welcome to Net Zero, your daily industry brief on clean energy and Canadian-resource politics.

The Lead

Amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, several energy companies are divesting Russian assets, while others are facing mounting pressure to do the same.

BP announced it was abandoning its stake in Russian oil giant Rosneft in an abrupt and costly end to three decades of operating in the energy-rich country. Rosneft accounts for around half of BP’s oil and gas reserves and a third of its production. Divesting the 19.75 per cent stake will result in charges of up to $25 billion, the British company said.

Similarly, Norwegian energy group Equinor, Europe’s second-largest oil and gas producer, said on Monday it will start the process of divesting from its joint ventures in Russia. 

“We are all deeply troubled by the invasion of Ukraine, which represents a terrible setback for the world, and we are thinking of all those who are suffering because of the military action,” said Equinor CEO Anders Opedal.

Following these announcements, Exxon Mobil is facing increased pressure to severe ties with Rosneft.

“I will not be surprised if we see big announcements similar to [the] BP-Rosneft one in the next few days, but it will be difficult to speculate on how exactly things will play out,” said Rystad Energy analyst Artem Abramov. Reuters has the details.


Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office said Russian forces blew up a gas pipeline in Kharkiv, the country’s second-largest city. The government warned that smoke from the huge explosion could cause an “environmental catastrophe” and advised people to cover their windows with damp cloth or gauze. The Associated Press has more on that story.

On Monday, energy ministers from EU countries will discuss preparations for potential energy supply shocks and measures to shore up gas stocks following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The invasion has sharpened concerns of disruption to energy supplies and increased scrutiny of EU countries’ reliance on imported fossil fuels. Reuters also has that story.

New research published in the journal Joule suggests Bitcoin has become less green since China cracked down on mining the cryptocurrency. Alex de Vries, one of the authors of the peer-reviewed study, said Bitcoin now causes carbon emissions comparable to Greece. BBC News has more.

Meanwhile, Germany’s E.ON, Europe’s largest operator of energy networks, rejected demands to shut down the Nord Stream 1 pipeline as part of sanctions against Russia for invading Ukraine. The German government put the Nord Stream 2 pipeline on hold last week.

On Monday morning at 9:34 a.m., West Texas Intermediate was trading at US$95.15 and Brent Crude was going for US$101.01.

In Canada

Benoit Charette, Quebec’s environment minister, says the provincial government will go ahead with a proposed relaxation of regulations on nickel emissions, despite pushback from regional health authorities, opposition parties, the Quebec City mayor and citizens’ groups.

“I have a very clear mandate to fight against climate change, to significantly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions,” said Charette. “We have to electrify our transportation, and to do that we need nickel.” CBC News has more from la belle province.

A disaster expert says British Columbia’s climate response strategy must do more to protect the province from future environmental events. Prof. Jean Slick, who heads the disaster and emergency management program at Royal Roads University in Victoria, encouraged the province to do more than implement recovery programs. The Canadian Press has the full story.

Climate change is increasing the frequency of rogue waves, unpredictable bursts of water that tower far above every other wave in their vicinity. CTV News tells you why.

Finally, coastal erosion caused by climate change is causing graves on the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador to begin falling into the sea. The Toronto Star has more on that story.

Canadian Crude Index was trading at US$79.69 and Western Canadian Select was going for US$77.49 this morning at 9:34 a.m.