- Shell announced on Saturday it purchased a cargo of Russian crude oil to prevent market interruptions and supply security.
- Shell said earlier this week it was limiting business with Russia, including divesting from Gazprom, a Russian majority state-owned energy company.
- “We will continue to choose alternatives to Russian oil wherever possible, but this cannot happen overnight because of how significant Russia is to global supply,” Shell said.
Shell announced it purchased a cargo of crude Russian oil, just days after the oil giant said it would limit business with the country in response its “senseless act of military aggression” against Ukraine.
In a statement shared to Twitter on Saturday, Shell said it made “the difficult decision” to buy the oil from Russia — the world’s third-largest oil producer and a major gas exporter to Europe — citing concerns over market interruptions and supply security.
“We will continue to choose alternatives to Russian oil wherever possible, but this cannot happen overnight because of how significant Russia is to global supply,” Shell wrote in the statement. “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.”
The purchase comes on the heels of Shell’s announcement earlier this week it would divest from Gazprom, a Russian majority state-owned energy company, and its related businesses. Shell also stated it plans to pull itself from the Nord Steam 2 pipeline project, a venture designed to transport gas between Russia and the rest of Europe.
The pledges came after competitors BP and ExxonMobil said they were cutting ties with the country, with the former dumping its 20% stake in Russian oil giant Rosneft and the latter fully exiting its Russian oil and gas operations valued at $4 billion.
Shell said in its statement on Saturday that while it does not “take this decision lightly,” the purchase was necessary to meet the demand for oil across Europe.
“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,” Shell wrote in the statement. “Cargoes from alternative sources would not have arrived in time to avoid disruptions to market supply.”
The oil giant added that it “will commit profits from the limited amount of Russian oil we have to purchase to a dedicated fund,” though did not note which fund specifically.
“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 wrote in its statement.