Shell Defends Purchase of Discounted Russian Oil Amid Invasion of Ukraine

Oil industry company Shell defended its purchase of Russian crude oil amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

In a statement late on March 5, Shell confirmed it made a “difficult” decision to purchase 100,000 metric tons of flagship Urals crude from Russia on March 4.

The purchase did not violate any Western sanctions imposed following the Russian invasion and bombardment of Ukraine.

“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,” Shell stated.

“We didn’t take this decision lightly and we understand the strength of feeling around it,” Shell further said.

Shell faced heavy criticism after the purchase.

“One question to Shell: doesn’t Russian oil smell Ukrainian blood for your?” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Twitter.

The purchase came shortly after Shell announced that it would end all of its joint ventures with Russian energy company Gazprom in response to the Russian invasion.

In its latest statement, Shell said it will continue to choose alternatives to Russian oil “whenever possible.”

“But this cannot happen overnight because of how significant Russia is to global supply,” Shell said.

Russia is the second top producer of crude oil after Saudi Arabia and it supplies about a third of Europe’s needs.

Currently, Russian oil comprises about 8% of Shell’s working supplies.

Shell also pledged to commit the profits from the purchase to a fund dedicated to humanitarian aid for Ukraine.

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