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Shell withdraws staff from Russia projects as exit plan begins

© BloombergShell Russia

Shell started to withdraw staff from its joint ventures with Gazprom PJSC as it moves forward with plans to exit investments in Russia response to the invasion of Ukraine.

Dozens of Shell employees on temporary assignment at the Sakhalin-2 liquefied natural gas export project in Russia were removed over the weekend to be relocated back to other offices, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Operations at the facility are unlikely to be affected by the move, the people said, requesting anonymity to discuss private details.

Shell is demobilizing its seconded employees in ventures with Gazprom and Gazprom Neft in a phased process, according to an emailed statement from the company. “Our key focus in this process is safety of our people and operations and compliance with applicable laws,” a Shell spokesperson said.

Some of the world’s top energy producers, including Shell and Exxon Mobil Corp., pledged to exit Russian projects in a bid to reduce reputational damage after the invasion of Ukraine. Shell said earlier this month that the withdrawal will result in $4 billion to $5 billion of impairments.

London-based Shell has increased its effort to distance itself from Moscow after the company came under fire in early March for purchasing Russian crude at a steep discount. Since then, Shell said it won’t make any new purchases of Russian oil or gas. The energy major has also idled LNG vessels chartered from Russian companies.

Shell also owns a 50% of stake in the Salym Petroleum Development in Russia. The company previously said it would end an exploration partnership with Gazprom called Gydan, and withdraw from the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which was already suspended by German authorities.

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