Shell announced on Tuesday that they will stop buying oil products from Russia after heavy criticism over their purchase last week of a large shipment of Russian crude oil.
The only thing that will change immediately for Shell is a full stop on buying Russian oil on the spot market, which is one-time deals without contract. Over time, they’ve pledged not to renew any long-term contracts with Russian-related companies. They currently buy oil, oil products, natural gas, and liquefied natural gas from Russia, and intend to withdraw from all of those markets in what the company calls a “phased manner.”
Currently Shell, one of the largest oil and case companies and one of the consistent top 10 out of the Fortune Global 500, gets between 4 and 5 percent of all their fuel products from Russia.
A week ago, Shell released a statement decrying the bloodshed in Ukraine and announcing an end to their joint work with Gazprom, the oil and gas company belonging to the Russian government. But only two days after that, they purchased a cargo of crude originating in Russia through a Swiss broker, at a record discount of under $100 a barrel (prices are at a 14-year high, $139 a barrel).
They were called out publicly for this purchase by the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Twitter. “One question to Shell:” he wrote. “Doesn’t Russian oil smell (like) Ukrainian blood for you?”
Two days after that news broke, Shell made their new statement about a gradual complete stop. They also announced that any proceeds from their remaining dealings with Russia would go into a fund for Ukrainian aid, and they would shut all of their brick-and-mortar businesses in Russia.
“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,” said Shell CEO Ben van Beurden in a statement.
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