LONDON – Energy giant Shell said on Tuesday it would stop buying Russian oil and natural gas and close its gas stations, aviation fuels and other operations in the country in the face of the international pressure for companies to sever ties following the invasion of Ukraine.
The company said in a statement that it would withdraw from all Russian hydrocarbons, including crude oil, petroleum products, natural gas and liquefied natural gas, “in a phased manner”.
The decision comes as soaring oil prices rocked global markets and just days after Ukraine’s foreign minister slammed Shell for continuing to buy Russian oil, slamming the company for having continued to do business with the government of President Vladimir Putin.
“We are fully aware that our decision last week to buy a shipment of Russian crude oil to be refined into products like petrol and diesel – although it was taken with security of supply at the forefront of our thinking. – was the wrong one and we’re sorry,” CEO Ben van Beurden said. “As we have said before, we will commit the profits from the remaining limited amounts of Russian oil that we process into a dedicated fund.”
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said he had been told Shell had “quietly” bought the oil on Friday and called on the public to pressure the company and other international companies to put end to these purchases.
“A question to Shell: doesn’t Russian oil smell (like) Ukrainian blood to you? Kuleba said on Twitter. “I call on all conscious people around the world to demand that multinational companies cut all commercial ties with Russia.”
Shell last week said it was “shocked by the loss of life in Ukraine” and would end its joint ventures with Gazprom, the huge Russian government-controlled oil and gas company.