Oil supermajor Shell today announced its intention to exit petrol retailing in Russia and cease trading in the country’s oil and gas, as its boss admitted purchasing the country’s crude oil as tanks rolled into Ukraine last week was ‘not the right thing’.
In a statement this morning, the chief executive Ben van Beurden said ““We are acutely aware that our decision last week to purchase a cargo of Russian crude oil to be refined into products like petrol and diesel – despite being made with security of supplies at the forefront of our thinking – was not the right one and we are sorry”.
Shell will donate profits from its declining Russian interests to a dedicated fund, managed in collaboration with humanitarian agencies ‘to alleviate the terrible consequences that this war is having on the people of Ukraine’, the statement confirmed.
The giant’s purchases of Russian crude on spot markets will cease immediately, and it will re-jig supply and term contracts to avoid sourcing in the country, the statement made clear.
Shell currently sources around 8% of its crude from Russia.
Last week in concert with BP, Exxon-Mobil and other supermajors, the recently mono-domiciled concern announced its intention to withdraw from Russian investments and operations, in protest against the nation’s assault on independent Ukraine.
TotalEnergies is beginning to look increasingly isolated in its continuing 20% participation with a partner in Siberian gas extraction. A week ago the French multinational condemned Putin’s aggression, but limited its financial sanctions merely to a ban on future capital investment in Russia.
Shell’s statement today confirms the company will also shut its service stations, plus its aviation fuels and lubricants operations in Russia, and start a phased withdrawal from Russian petroleum products, pipeline gas and liquefied natural gas.
“This is a complex challenge,” said the statement. “Changing this part of the energy system will require concerted action by governments, energy suppliers and customers, and a transition to other energy supplies will take much longer.”