U.K. oil and gas major Shell will “withdraw from its involvement in all Russian hydrocarbons” in a phased approach, the company announced Tuesday.
“Our 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,” Shell CEO Ben van Beurden said in a statement. “Threats today to stop pipeline flows to Europe further illustrate the difficult choices and potential consequences we face as we try to do this.”
The company said that “unless directed by governments,” it would immediately stop buying Russian crude on spot markets and not renew long-term contracts.
It also plans to shut service stations, aviation fuels and lubricants operations in Russia, and start a “phased withdrawal from Russian petroleum products, pipeline gas and [liquefied natural gas].”
Last week Shell said it would cut ties with the Russia-to-Germany Nord Stream 2 pipeline project and exit joint ventures with Russian gas giant Gazprom.
The company came under fire on Friday for purchasing a cargo of Russian crude oil at a steep discount, for which it publicly apologized after being accused of helping fund Russia’s war in Ukraine.
“In close consultation with governments, we are changing our crude oil supply chain to remove Russian volumes,” van Beurden added. “We will do this as fast as possible, but the physical location and availability of alternatives mean this could take weeks to complete and will lead to reduced throughput at some of our refineries.”