Shell on Tuesday apologized for buying Russian crude oil last week and said it would completely withdraw from any involvement in Russian hydrocarbons following the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
“We are fully aware that our decision last week to buy a shipment of Russian crude oil…was not the right one and we are sorry about that,” said Shell CEO Ben van Beurden.
Shell bought a shipment of Russian crude oil from Swiss trader Trafigura in the S&P Global Platts window loading from Baltic ports at a record low Brent dated minus $28.50 a barrel, traders said on Friday.
Shell announced last week that it would exit all of its Russian operations, including the flagship Sakhalin 2 LNG plant in which it has a 27.5% stake and which is 50% owned and operated by the Russian gas group Gazprom.
Shell joined a series of companies, including BP, which said it was giving up its 19.75% stake in Russian oil giant Rosneft.
But it was still one of the few Western companies to continue buying crude oil from Russia since the escalation of the conflict in Ukraine.
The British energy major said it would change its crude oil supply chain to remove volumes from the sanctioned country “as soon as possible” and close its petrol stations and fuel and lubricants operations in aviation in Russia.
The company said the supply chain change could take weeks and will result in reduced throughput at some of its refineries.
Withdrawal of Russian petroleum products, pipeline and liquefied natural gas (LNG) will be phased
The company also plans to end its stake in the Nord Stream 2 Baltic gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, which it helped finance as part of a consortium.
Reuters reported on Monday that the United States was willing to move forward with a ban on Russian oil imports without the participation of allies in Europe in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Oil prices have risen to their highest levels since 2008 due to delays in the potential return of Iranian crude to world markets and as the United States and its European allies consider banning Russian imports.
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