The ministers are reportedly planning to take over Gazprom Marketing and Trading Retail (GM&T). The move could happen within this week, an industry source said.
GM&T, whose ultimate guardian is the Russian state-run Gazprom, was considered the main candidate for the Special Administrative System (SAR) in the United Kingdom in March.
The unit, which operates as Gazprom Energy, supplies only one-fifth of Britain’s commercial gas and serves thousands of customers, including the NHS.
It supplies more than 20 per cent of the gas used by British companies, although a growing number have reportedly given up in recent weeks.
Last month, it was reported that Gazprom Energy was trying to find a buyer to stop the collapse as many large clients sought to withdraw from the multi-million pound deal in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
If Gazprom Energy is placed on Ofgem’s SAR, it will be the second utility to be rescued by UK taxpayers.
Internal supplier Bulb Energy was bailed out at the estimated cost of the Office for Budget Responsibility to raise 1. 1.2 billion in 2021-22 and another 1 1 billion in 2022-23 at the end of last year.
Bloomberg News reported last month that the cost of a public purse to maintain Gazprom Energy’s existing supply contracts was estimated at about £ 4 billion.
An energy industry executive told Sky News that it was not yet certain that Gazprom Energy would need to go public, but added that its fate depended on negotiations between the company and its clearing bank City.
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“GM&T, due to its important role in both energy trade and B2B energy retail, fully recognizes the material impact we have on the UK and European financial and energy markets and consequently the economy.”
The agency said it remained “firmly committed” to mitigating any adverse effects and was working closely with UK power regulator Ofgame and other UK government agencies to manage those risks.
A government spokesman said: “The United Kingdom is by no means dependent on Russian gas, which accounts for less than four per cent of our supply.
“Our highly diverse sources of gas supply and a diverse mix of electricity ensure that families, businesses and heavy industries get the energy they need.
“We are aware that Gazprom Energy has a large presence in the non-domestic energy retail market.
“Businesses and organizations should apply their own commercial judgment on power supply agreements at this time.”
City has been contacted for comment.
The government is reportedly preparing to unveil its energy security strategy, which will be released later this month.
One of the issues to be considered is the future of fracking and whether a stay order should remain in force.
Downing Street insisted that the situation in Ukraine meant considering all options to increase the power of the United Kingdom.
A spokesman for No. 10 said: “Our general position on fracking has not changed. The development of the shell remains in place.
“But it is certainly true that we are looking at all our options that will inform energy conservation strategies.”
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