German company may be supplying Russia with fuel for warplanes, Spiegel investigation

6 November 2022, 09:05 PM
Wintershall Dea denies the allegations (

Wintershall Dea denies the allegations (

Europe’s leading independent natural gas and oil company Wintershall Dea may still be sending Russia gas condensate – one of the basic materials used to make fuel for Russian warplanes, German media Der Spiegel and ZDR reported on Nov. 4.

German journalists found that a Wintershall Dea joint venture produces and delivers to Gazprom (Russian fuel company) gas condensate, sometimes called “white oil,” a crucial base material for aviation fuel.

Gazprom is known to be a major supplier of aviation fuel for the Russian Air and Space Forces.

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Thanks to freight data from Russian trains and internal Gazprom documents, the German journalists were able to reconstruct the route of gas condensate from Wintershall Dea's joint ventures to the Russian processing plants where aviation fuel is produced.

Wintershall Dea, together with local companies, has been exploiting gigantic natural gas deposits in the Arctic Circle, the Urengoyskoye field, since 2008. Natural gas production at the Urengoyskoye field produces gas condensate, sometimes called "white oil," as a by product.

"The amount of gas condensate from the Wintershall Dea joint venture that goes into a ton of Gazprom jet fuel cannot be independently traced," the article reads. But, according to the journalists' data, in 2020, the company's joint venture accounted for at least 10 percent of the gas condensate produced by Gazprom.

While Wintershall Dea said that "the majority" of the products go to regions of Russia where there are no military airfields or have no significance for the war, Gazprom, like all Russian state organisations, isn't a transparent organization, the German journalists said.

They said the fuel made of Wintershall Dea gas condensate may have been delivered to at least nine military air bases in the west of Russia, in particular Morozovsk and Voronezh, where the Su-34 fighter-bombers that are striking Ukrainian cities are based.

Wintershall Dea rejected the suggested link between the gas condensate produced in Russia by the joint ventures and the deaths of people in Ukraine, saying such a link was contrived and dishonest.

However, company representatives also stated they could not guarantee their products are not used for military purposes.

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