Shell expects up to $5 billion in Russia-related write-downs and charges

Posted 07 April, 2022

The British oil giant Shell warned on Thursday that its withdrawal from activities in Russia in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine would result in 4 to 5 billion dollars of write-downs and charges in its first-quarter results, which will be published in May 5.

“Shell has not renewed its longer-term contracts for Russian oil” but the group is on the other hand “legally obliged to take delivery of the crude purchased under contracts which were signed before the Russian invasion” in Ukraine, the company said in a statement.

The group announced at the end of February that it would separate from its shares in several projects with the Russian gas giant Gazprom, assets valued at 3 billion dollars at the end of 2021 and which had generated an adjusted profit of 700 million dollars last year.

Shell also said at the beginning of March that it wanted to withdraw “gradually” from Russian oil and gas to “align with the new directives of the British government”.

The group, which had to apologize for having bought a shipment of Russian oil at a reduced price, had explained that it would stop all spot purchases on the Russian crude oil market and close its service stations, as well as its aviation fuels and lubricants activities in Russia.

The British government, less dependent on Russian hydrocarbons than other European countries, had for its part announced the end of its imports of Russian oil by the end of the year and also wants to end those of gas in the long term.

London announced on Wednesday the end of Russian coal imports by the end of the year, which the EU is also preparing to do.

Shell had published auspicious profits for 2021 in early February, thanks to the economic recovery and the surge in hydrocarbon prices, with a net profit group share of 20.1 billion dollars, also helped by asset disposals.

The group, now British after moving its tax headquarters from the Netherlands to the United Kingdom, had suffered a historic loss of 21.7 billion dollars in 2020 in the midst of a health crisis.

At the end of February, Shell's British rival, BP, announced its disengagement from the Russian giant Rosneft, of which it held 19.75% - i.e. a value of 14 billion dollars at the end of 2021 - which will also result in a charge in the accounts. of the company's first quarter.

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