Shell makes 'difficult' decision to purchase Russian crude oil, vows to buy elsewhere 'whenever possible'
The company says it will avoid purchasing Russian oil whenever possible
Shell oil company released a statement Saturday saying it is "appalled" by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and will do what it can to avoid purchasing oil from Russia while acknowledging that it recently did purchase crude oil from the country.
"We are appalled by the war in Ukraine and have already made clear our intention to exit joint ventures with Gazprom - which is majority-owned by the Russian government - and related entities, as well as intending to end our involvement with a significant project to pipe gas from Russia to Europe."
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The company announced earlier this week that it is cutting ties with Gazprom.
In the statement, Shell acknowledged that it recently purchased crude oil from Russia and understands that will be viewed as a controversial move.
"Yesterday we made the difficult decision to purchase a cargo of Russian crude oil," Shell said. "Our refineries produce petrol and diesel as well as other products that people rely on every day. To be clear, without an uninterrupted supply of crude oil to refineries, the energy industry cannot assure continued provision of essential products to people across Europe over the weeks ahead. Cargoes from alternative sources would not have arrived in time to avoid disruptions to market supply."
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The company said it did not "take this decision lightly" and will do what it can to avoid buying oil from Russia in the future.
"We will continue to choose alternatives to Russian oil whenever possible, but this can not happen overnight because of how significant Russia is to global supply," the statement added. "We have been in intense talks with governments and continue to follow their guidance around this issue of security of supply, and are acutely aware we have to navigate this dilemma with the utmost care. We welcome any direction or insights from governments and policymakers as we try to keep Europe moving and in business."
The company also said that it will commit any future profits from Russian oil to a "dedicated fund" to support the people of Ukraine.
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"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.
Shell's statement follows an announcement from the BP oil company which said it will drop its 19.75% stake in Russian energy company Rosneft.