Shell has started to withdraw staff from its joint ventures with Russia’s Gazprom as it moves forward with plans to exit investments in response to the war in 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.
Shell is demobilising its seconded employees in ventures with Gazprom and Gazprom Neft in a phased process, according to a company statement.
“Our key focus in this process is safety of our people and operations and compliance with applicable laws,” a Shell representative said.
Some of the world’s top energy producers, including Shell and Exxon Mobil, pledged to exit Russian projects in a bid to reduce reputational damage after the war in Ukraine.
Shell said earlier this month the withdrawal will result in $4 billion to $5bn 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.