act of war, BASF, confirmed sabotage, E.ON, Engie, Force Majeure, Gazprom, Germany, insurance companies, insurance obligations, LetterOne, Lloyd’s of London, Munich Re, Nord Stream, Nord Stream 1, Nord Stream 2, Nord Stream gas pipeline, NordStream, NV Nederlandse Gasunie, Russian Government, Russian government owned companies, Russian State Owned Companies, sabotage, self-sabotage, Shell, Sogaz, Sweden, Swedish investigation, Switzerland, Wintershall DEA, Zug Switzerland, Zurich Insurance Group
There is a lot at stake with this investigation. The oil and gas companies-investors have an interest in getting the insurance companies to pay; the insurance companies have an interest in not paying. This is apart from other considerations.
It would be in the interest of Nord Stream owner-investors to blame anyone but themselves. And for the Nord Stream insurers and reinsurers to blame something for which they would not be liable.
The insurance and reinsurance companies are mostly unknown. Some have been identified by Reuters, however. These are most likely for the European companies, which are involved. For Gazprom they are unknown, but the Russian government is a partial reinsurer. It’s unclear if SOGAZ insurance is government owned or not. SOGAZ is at least partially Gazprom owned. Gazprom Aviation uses SOGAZ. SOGAZ has numerous insurance subsidiaries: https://web.archive.org/web/20220127121808/https://avia.gazprom.com/about/insurance “Mikhail Putin is a son of the president’s cousin, Interfax news agency reported” MARCH 23, 2018 “Putin relative appointed to management of state gas giant Gazprom” https://web.archive.org/web/20220123173617/https://www.reuters.com/article/us-russia-putin-gazprom-idUSKBN1GZ273 The current ownership of SOGAZ is unclear. From 2014: https://web.archive.org/web/20221118201652/https://interfax.com/newsroom/top-stories/41261 From ca 2019. See translation of SOGAZ Russian wikipedia article at the bottom of the blog post. Original Russian here: https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Согаз
“If Nord Stream is shut down suddenly through “force majeure,” a sudden uncontrollable stop that is the fault of neither party, then Russia can void its obligations toward European stakeholders without legally breaking contracts, thus dodging the many penalties in doing so….” “Russia’s Purported Sabotage Of The Nord Stream Pipeline Marks A Point Of No Return” By Ariel Cohen, Contributor https://web.archive.org/web/20221030005358/https://www.forbes.com/sites/arielcohen/2022/09/29/russian-sabotage-of-the-nord-stream-pipeline-mark-a-point-of-no-return Reuters belatedly started to wonder who insured the pipeline, which this blog wondered from almost the beginning: “Munich Re (MUVGn.DE) and syndicates within the Lloyd’s of London market are among the major underwriters for Nord Stream 1, four industry sources with knowledge of the situation said…” If “the damage was an act of self-sabotage, or of war, neither… are generally covered by insurance… Reuters was not able to identify all of its underwriters, but another of the sources said Swiss insurer Zurich (ZURN.S) also had exposure to Nord Stream 1. Munich Re, Zurich and Lloyd’s all declined to comment.” The article notes that NordStream cost 7.8 billion euros ($7.6 billion). See: “Analysis: Pipeline blasts leave Nord Stream in insurance limbo”, 25 October 2022, By Jonathan Saul and Carolyn Cohn https://web.archive.org/web/20221104203707/https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/pipeline-blasts-leave-nord-stream-insurance-limbo-2022-10-24/
Is there governmental or other insurance for Force Majeur that includes sabotage? Is Zurich Insurance Group still connected to Nord Stream 1?
“Swiss insurance firm quits Nord Stream 2 on sanctions anxiety – media
17:30, 17.01.21 Earlier, a Norwegian certifier and a Danish engineering company dropped out for the same reason. A Swiss-based insurance company, Zurich Insurance Group AG, has ceased services tied to the Nord Stream 2 gas transit project….” https://www.unian.info/economics/nord-stream-2-swiss-insurance-firm-quits-project-on-sanctions-anxiety-11287892.html
Nord Stream pipeline is 51% owned by Russian government controlled Gazprom. Gazprom, itself, is 50.2% owned by the Russian government. Nord Stream is 15.5% owned by German Wintershall DEA (67% owned by BASF; 33% owned by LetterOne); 15.5% owned by German E.On, 9% owned by NV Nederlandse Gasunie (100% owned by the Netherlands – government), and 9% owned by Engie, which is partly owned by the French government. https://web.archive.org/web/20220927050814/https://www.nord-stream.com/about-us/our-shareholders/ Nord Stream/Nord Stream 2 is “headquartered” in Zug, Switzerland – probably as a postal box. Nord Stream 2 is owned by Gazprom, Engie, OMV, Shell, Uniper, Wintershall Dea: https://web.archive.org/web/20211220021447/https://www.nord-stream2.com/company/shareholder-and-financial-investors/ Shell belatedly announced its intent to cut ties with Russia: https://web.archive.org/web/20221105070701/https://www.shell.com/media/news-and-media-releases/2022/shell-announces-intent-to-withdraw-from-russian-oil-and-gas.html It had approximately $1 billion invested: https://royaldutchshellplc.com/2022/02/28/shell-abandons-russia-and-nord-stream-2-pipeline/ “Each company will provide a long-term funding facility of €285 million expected to be drawn down in 2017. In addition, funds of up to €665 million will be provided to cover a combination of short and long-term funding and guarantees.” https://web.archive.org/web/20221024161818/https://www.shell.com/media/news-and-media-releases/2017/shell-and-four-european-energy-companies-sign-financing-agreements.html
Map of Nord Stream Baltic Pipe proposed routes Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Gas Plan; Nord Stream Crosses Baltic Pipe, Extranet.acer.europe.eu ENTSOG June 2014
“2 ‘dark ships’ were spotted near the Nord Stream pipeline leaks days before the explosions were detected, satellite data analysis firm says” By Matthew Loh Nov 14, 2022, 5:04 AM https://web.archive.org/web/20221118190945/https://www.businessinsider.com/dark-ships-detected-mysterious-nord-stream-pipeline-leaks-firm-2022-11
“Confirmed sabotage of the Nord Stream gas pipelines
Published 18 November 2022
The Swedish Security Service is working intensively on the investigation regarding the detonations at the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines. This investigation shows that the pipelines have been subject to gross sabotage.
In the crime scene investigations carried out onsite in the Baltic Sea, the extensive damage to the gas pipelines resulting from detonations has been thoroughly documented. Several seizures have been made, including foreign items. Explosive residue was identified on a number of the seized and analysed foreign items.
The advanced analysis work is still in progress – the aim is to draw more definitive conclusions about the Nord Stream incidents. The investigation is extensive and complex and will eventually show whether anyone can be suspected of, and later prosecuted for this.
The investigation is being conducted by the Swedish Security Service, and is headed by a National Security Unit prosecutor. Our Service is being assisted in this case by several agencies including, among others, the Swedish Coast Guard, the Swedish Armed Forces and the Swedish police Authority.
The Nord Stream incidents in the Baltic Sea are a very serious matter. Our Service is keeping a close eye on the development and taking the measures needed to fulfil its duty to protect Sweden and its security.
18 November 2022” https://sakerhetspolisen.se/ovriga-sidor/other-languages/english-engelska/press-room/news/news/2022-11-18-confirmed-sabotage-of-the-nord-stream-gas-pipelines.html
The original words used for gross sabotage are “grovt sabotage”, meaning that gross is one literal translation, even though serious sounds better. Another might be great sabotage, which would have been a good translation in the past, but not in contemporary English. The very unelegant grobt/gross is Germanic: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/groß https://www.etymonline.com/word/great Serious is “from Middle English seryows, from Old French serieux, from Medieval Latin sēriōsus, an extension of Latin sērius (“grave, earnest, serious”), from Proto-Indo-European *swer- (“heavy”). Cognate with German schwer (“heavy, difficult, severe”), Old English swǣr (“heavy, grave, grievous”).”https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/serious Sabotage is obviously from the French and from the word “sabot” for wooden shoes/clogs: https://www.liquisearch.com/sabotage/etymology
“Bekräftat sabotage vid gasledningarna
Publicerad 18 november 2022
Säkerhetspolisen bedriver ett intensivt arbete i förundersökningen kring detonationerna vid gasledningarna Nord Stream 1 och 2. Utredningen visar att det rör sig om ett grovt sabotage.
Vid de brottsplatsundersökningar som genomförts på plats i Östersjön har området och de omfattande skadorna på gasledningarna till följd av detonationerna dokumenterats utförligt.
Flera beslag har gjorts och bland annat har främmande föremål påträffats. Vid analyser som utförts har rester av sprängämnen på flera av de främmande föremål som tagits i beslag identifierats.
Det avancerade analysarbetet fortsätter för att kunna dra säkrare slutsatser kring händelsen. Utredningen är omfattande och komplex. Den fortsatta förundersökningen får visa om någon kan delges misstanke och senare åtalas.
Förundersökningen bedrivs av Säkerhetspolisen under ledning av åklagare vid Riksenheten för säkerhetsmål. Säkerhetspolisen samverkar med flera myndigheter, bland annat har Kustbevakningen, Försvarsmakten och Polismyndigheten biträtt i arbetet.
Åklagarmyndighetens pressmeddelande https://www.aklagare.se/nyheter-press/pressmeddelanden/2022/november/bekraftat-sabotage-vid-nord-stream/
Det som inträffat i Östersjön är mycket allvarligt. Säkerhetspolisen följer utvecklingen noga och vidtar åtgärder som behövs utifrån myndighetens uppdrag att skydda Sverige och Sveriges säkerhet.
Unofficial translation of the above:
18 november 2022
Confirmed sabotage at the gas lines
Published November 18, 2022
The security police are conducting intensive work in the preliminary investigation surrounding the detonations at the gas pipelines Nord Stream 1 and 2. The investigation shows that it is a case of serious sabotage.
In the crime scene investigations carried out on site in the Baltic Sea, the area and the extensive damage to the gas lines as a result of the detonations have been extensively documented. Several seizures have been made and, among other things, foreign objects have been found. During analyzes carried out, residues of explosives have been identified on several of the foreign objects seized.
The advanced analysis work continues in order to be able to draw safer conclusions about the incident. The investigation is extensive and complex. The continued preliminary investigation must show whether someone can be served with suspicion and later prosecuted.
The preliminary investigation is conducted by the Security Police under the direction of prosecutors at the National Security Unit. The security police cooperates with several authorities, among others the Coast Guard, the Swedish Armed Forces and the Swedish Police have assisted in the work.
The Prosecutor’s Office’s press release https://www.aklagare.se/nyheter-press/pressmeddelanden/2022/november/bekraftat-sabotage-vid-nord-stream/
What happened in the Baltic Sea is very serious. The security police follow developments closely and take measures that are needed based on the authority’s mission to protect Sweden and Sweden’s security.
November 18, 2022
“Notification of the completion of the transfer of the insurance portfolio
5 October 2022
Joint Stock Company Gas Industry Insurance Company (abbreviated name — SOGAZ JSC, OGRN 1027739820921, TIN 7736035485; registration number in USRSSD 1208) informs that on 01.10.2022 the procedure for transferring the insurance portfolio of comprehensive mortgage insurance contracts concluded by LLC IC Gazprom Insurance » regarding collateral for mortgage loans of VTB Bank (PJSC), has been completed.
LLC IC Gazprom Insurance transferred the insurance portfolio under the above insurance contracts, which includes liabilities under insurance contracts corresponding to the formed insurance reserves, and assets accepted to cover the formed insurance reserves, including liabilities under insurance contracts in force as of the date of the decision on the transfer of the insurance portfolio, and obligations under insurance contracts, the validity of which expired on the date of the decision to transfer the insurance portfolio, but the obligations under which were not fulfilled in full, together with the rights to claim payment of insurance premiums (insurance premiums). The transfer was carried out on the basis of an agreement on the transfer of the insurance portfolio concluded between LLC IC Gazprom Insurance and JSC SOGAZ, as well as an act of acceptance and transfer of the insurance portfolio.
The insurance organization that accepted the insurance portfolio:
1. Brand name in Russian:
Full: Joint Stock Company “Insurance Company of the Gas Industry”
Abbreviated: SOGAZ JSC
2. English brand name:
Full: INSURANCE COMPANY OF GAZ INDUSTRY SOGAZ
Abbreviated: SOGAZ INSURANCE
3. Location: 107078, Moscow, Akademika Sakharov Avenue, 10
4. The official website of JSC “SOGAZ” in the information and telecommunications network “Internet”: http://www.sogaz.ru
The main activity of the insurer that has accepted the insurance portfolio is the activity of insurance and reinsurance. The financial position of SOGAZ JSC satisfies the requirements of financial stability and solvency, taking into account the obligations assumed.
SOGAZ JSC has licenses SL No. 1208 dated 08/05/2015 and SI No. 1208 dated 08/05/2015 for the implementation of types of insurance for which an insurance portfolio is accepted.
On October 1, 2022, all rights and obligations under the comprehensive mortgage insurance contracts concluded in relation to securing mortgage loans from VTB Bank (PJSC) were transferred to the insurance company that accepted the insurance portfolio, JSC SOGAZ.
The start date for fulfillment by SOGAZ JSC of obligations under accepted insurance contracts included in the transferred insurance portfolio is 01.10.2022.
107078, Moscow, Akademika Sakharova Avenue” https://web.archive.org/web/20221015214108/https://www.gazpromins.ru/press-centre/news/716
As of November 2019, SOGAZ:
“Chairman of the Board of Directors — Alexey Miller , Chairman of the Management Board of PJSC Gazprom. The Board of Directors includes Famil Sadygov (Deputy Chairman of the Management Board of PJSC Gazprom), Yuri Soloviev (First Deputy President and Chairman of the Management Board of PJSC VTB ), Dmitry Lebedev (Chairman of the Board of Directors of JSC AB Rossiya), Mikhail Klishin (Chairman of the Management Board of JSC “AB” Russia “”), Alexander Sobol (Deputy Chairman of the Board of JSC “Gazprombank”) and Anton Ustinov (Chairman of the Board of JSC “Sogaz”)  .
According to the company’s disclosure in January 2020, its shareholders were   :
* Akvilla LLC (ultimate owners – Yuri Kovalchuk , Tatyana Kovalchuk, Dmitry Mansurov, Alexander Germanov and Mikhail Dedov) – 32.30%
* SG-invest JSC (Anton Ustinov, Andrey Botishchev, Vladimir Nosov, Andrey Fedorenko) — 16.54%
* Gazprom Capital ( Rosimushchestvo ) – 16.22%
* LLC “Accept” (Mikhail Shelomov) – 12.47%
* Kordex LLC ( VTB Bank ) – 10%
* JSC “Orbita Express” (former employee of the special forces of the FSB ” Vympel ” Dmitry Baykovsky and Alexei Belyavsky) – 5%
* PJSC Gazprom — 3.77%
* Spektr LLC (Andrey Pankov) – 2.5%
* Gazprom Export ( Rosimushchestvo ) – 1.2%
Chairman of the Board – Anton Ustinov. The board also includes Mikhail Ilyin, Vladimir Nosov, Dmitry Malyshev and Mikhail Putin (cousin-nephew of Russian President V.V. Putin)  in the status of deputies . https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Согаз