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Shell Plc is reportedly in discussions over the sale of Shell Neft, its chain of retail fuel stations in Russia, as part of its exit plan in the aftermath of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, Bloomberg reported on Friday.
“We can confirm the ongoing negotiations on the sale of Shell Neft, which owns a retail network and lubricants plant which is located in Torzhok,” Bloomberg cited Shell’s press office as saying in a statement. “Our key priority is safety of our people and operations, maintaining employment and compliance with the Russian legislation.”
Shell Neft owns both a 370-strong retail network of fuel stations and a transport and logistics complex with oil facilities in Russia.
Forbes has also cited an unnamed source from Shell in Russia as saying that Russian Lukoil would be the most likely buyer.
On Thursday, Shell released its Q1 earnings, showing a $3.89-billion impairment for its Russia assets, with some 15% of that accounting for Shell Neft, according to Bloomberg.
Shell also announced it would raise its quarterly dividend after posting its highest profit since 2008–a tripling from the same quarter last year, with adjusted earnings of $9.1 billion.
On March 8, following a backlash over its purchase of a discount Russian crude cargo, Shell announced it was withdrawing from Russian oil and natural gas deals, pledging an immediate halt in spot purchase of crude from the country and a phase-out of trading and business dealings.
BP also recorded a $24-billion writedown on Russia assets, while Norway’s Equinor saw $1.08 billion in related impairments after its announcement, also in March, that it would stop trading in Russian oil. Exxon, meanwhile, saw a $3.4-billion writedown on Russian assets.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com