London [UK], March 8 (ANI): Amid 'Russia's atrocities' in Ukraine, Shell plc, a multinational oil and gas company based in the UK, on Tuesday (local time) announced its intent to withdraw from its involvement in all Russian hydrocarbons, including crude oil, petroleum products, gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG).
In a tweet, the company said, "As an immediate first step, we will stop all spot purchases of Russian crude oil, shut service stations, aviation fuels & lubricants operations in Russia."
This comes at a time when UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a joint press conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Monday said that London and other Western governments are seriously considering sanctions on Russian energy exports in response to the ongoing military operation in Ukraine.
"Something that perhaps three or four weeks ago we would never have considered, is now very much on the table. We have to all consider how we can all move away ... from dependence, reliance on Russian hydrocarbons," Johnson told a press briefing alongside his Canadian and Dutch counterparts in response to a question regarding sanctions on Russian energy exports.
The company said that the withdrawal will be done in a phased manner, aligned with new government guidance As an immediate first step, the company will stop all spot purchases of Russian crude oil. It will also shut its service stations, aviation fuels and lubricants operations in Russia, said the company in its online portal.
Shell Chief Executive Officer, Ben van Beurden, was quoted as saying, "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 the security of supplies at the forefront of our thinking - was not the right one and we are sorry. As we have already said, we will commit profits from the limited, remaining amounts of Russian oil we will process to a dedicated fund. We will work with aid partners and humanitarian agencies over the coming days and weeks to determine where the monies from this fund are best placed to alleviate the terrible consequences that this war is having on the people of Ukraine."
The CEO said that that actions to date have been guided by continuous discussions with governments about the need to 'disentangle' society from Russian energy flows while maintaining energy supplies.
In his remarks mentioned on the portal, he said that the threats to stop pipeline flow to Europe further illustrate the difficult choices and potential consequences.
The company said, unless directed by governments, it will Immediately stop buying Russian crude oil on the spot market and we will not renew term contracts.
"We are changing our crude oil supply chain to remove Russian volumes", it said adding, "we will shut our service stations, aviation fuels and lubricants operations in Russia. We will consider very carefully the safest way to do this, but the process will start immediately."
"These societal challenges highlight the dilemma between putting pressure on the Russian government over its atrocities in Ukraine and ensuring stable, secure energy supplies across Europe," said van Beurden. "But ultimately, it is for governments to decide on the incredibly difficult trade-offs that must be made during the war in Ukraine. We will continue to work with them to help manage the potential impacts on the security of energy supplies, particularly in Europe," he added. (ANI)