British Gas owner Centrica says it is planning to cancel its contracts with Russian gas suppliers, including Gazprom, as a matter of “urgency”.
The company is attempting to do this voluntarily, as it is not required to end its agreements as part of any sanctions regime – making it an outlier as other energy companies in Europe continue to source gas from Russian companies.
Centrica, Britain’s biggest energy supplier, said it was trying to “exit our gas supply agreements with Russian counterparts, principally Gazprom, as a matter of urgency”.
The company’s chief executive, Chris O’Shea, said: “We are shocked by the events unfolding in Ukraine and the needless loss of lives.”
Centrica has a supply agreement with Gazprom’s British trading arm, through which it sources gas from the open market, though not necessarily from Russia.
“We are working through the details of how best to [exit these agreements], additionally we will ensure we are compliant with all relevant sanctions,” Mr O’Shea said.
Most European countries are still purchasing oil and gas from Russia despite its invasion of Ukraine due to a heavy reliance on the country’s resources.
Canada said on Monday that it would ban Russian oil imports, the revenues from which are used to help support president Vladimir Putin and his oligarch allies.
But unlike Europe, Canada does not depend as much on Russia’s oil supplies.