Shell Apologizes for Buying Russian Oil, Initiates Boycott

by Michael Freeman

Shell found itself in hot water recently after purchasing Russian oil amid the rampant boycotts other companies are enacting. The company issued an apology not only buying Russian oil but also for doing so at a steep discount. The news comes only days after Shell announced it would wind down business dealings with the country. Last week, the company reportedly bought 100,000 metric tons of Russian crude oil for $28.50 less per barrel than the sale price listed on the Brent crude oil benchmark. This occurred as many Western oil and energy companies cut business dealings with Russia.

What we learned

  • Shell apologized for buying Russian crude oil at a steep discount, and is boycotting business dealings with the country.
  • Profits gained from the remaining Russian oil will help those affected by the Ukraine war.
  • Shell CEO Ben van Beurden released a statement about the conflict in Ukraine.

Shell CEO Ben van Beurden released a statement about the matter this morning as well. “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.”

The company also disclosed it would shutter service stations in Russia. On top of that, aviation fuels and lubricants operations in Russia will begin a “phased withdrawal from Russian petroleum products, pipeline gas and LNG.” This is one of many other steps Shell plans to enact to end its business with Russia for the time being. For example, it detailed plans about its remaining Russian oil supplies, stating it would donate further profits to humanitarian groups helping Ukraine.

Shell’s about-face came days after Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba condemned oil companies still conducting business with Russia.

Shell CEO Releases a Statement About Exiting Business Dealings with Russia

Besides releasing an apology about buying Russian crude oil, Shell CEO Ben van Beurden spoke about the Ukraine conflict. In his statement, he discusses the country’s plight and Shell no longer supporting Russia.

“We are shocked by the loss of life in Ukraine, which we deplore, resulting from a senseless act of military aggression which threatens European security,” the statement begins. Continuing, the Shell CEO affirms the company will do what it can to help the people of Ukraine. In addition to withholding support from Russia.

“Our decision to exit is one we take with conviction,” said van Beurden. “We cannot – and we will not – stand by. Our immediate focus is the safety of our people in Ukraine and supporting our people in Russia. In discussion with governments around the world, we will also work through the detailed business implications, including the importance of secure energy supplies to Europe and other markets, in compliance with relevant sanctions.”