Five of the ten major oil companies in the world have so far condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and have adopted some commercial measure against the regime of Vladimir Putincoinciding with the sanctions agreed by Western governments, led by the European Union (EU) Y USA.
In contrast, the Saudi state oil company, aramcoand China’s largest oil and gas producer, Petrochinahave opted for a more lukewarm stance, while the giants Gazprom Y Rosneft They have not commented on an armed conflict that is already having an impact on their respective businesses.
BP and Shell, among which they have taken measures
The British BP was one of the first companies to demonstrate. He did it on February 27, just three days after the invasion began, when he announced that he would get rid of the 19.75% he had owned since 2013 in Rosneft, partially owned by the Kremlin.
The company, which had received pressure from the British Executive, pointed out that the attack carried out by Putin was a “act of aggression” that motivated a “fundamental change” in BP’s strategy, present in that country for more than three decades.
At the beginning of March, the American ExxonMobil reported that it would not invest in new projects in Russia.
“ExxonMobil stands with the people of Ukraine as they seek to defend their freedom and determine their own future as a nation. We support the strong international response. We are complying with all sanctions.”he explained.
In the same statement, it indicated that the “cessation of operations process” on the oil and gas platform sakhalinwhere it has a 30% stake and which after 25 years represents one of the largest international direct investments in Russia.
The Anglo-Dutch oil company has behaved in a similar way shellwhich announced that it would stop being involved with Russian hydrocarbons, such as crude oil, oil products, gas and liquefied natural gas, and that it would stop importing crude oil.
Last April, Shell confirmed that its decision to abandon its operations in Russia will cost between US$4,000 million and US$5,000 million (between 3,666 million and 4,583 million euros), and that it would not buy oil from that market, although it would fulfill the contracts fuel purchase contracts signed before the invasion.
Among the activities that he will leave is his joint venture (joint venture) with Gazprom; a 27.5% stake in a Russian liquefied natural gas facility; 50% in an oil project in Siberia and its involvement in the Nord Stream 2 project between Russia and Germany, which has been stopped by Berlin as a result of the war.
the french TotalEnergiesfor its part, joined the measures after criticism received for continuing to do business with Russia.
On March 22, he revealed that he would suspend the purchase of Russian oil this year “due to the worsening of the situation in Ukraine and the existence of alternative sources of supply for Europe”.
However, he warned “it will continue to supply Europe with liquefied natural gas from the Yamal LNG unit, within the framework of long-term contracts that it must respect, as long as the governments consider that Russian gas is necessary”.
Meanwhile, the American ConocoPhillips wanted to clarify publicly that “does not have any operations or assets in Russia or Ukraine”and earmarked US$2 million (1.9 million euros) for humanitarian assistance to those affected by the invasion.
A similar explanation was given Chevronwho in an interview with the portal Yahoo Finance clarified that it does not have any production in Russia.
Organizations warn of the “Latvian mix”
Despite everything, the Environmental NGO Transport & Environment (T&E) regrets the close relationship that the European oil majors, BP, Shell and TotalEnergies, had been maintaining with Russia.
According to their data, since the annexation of Crimea in 2014, these companies bought approximately 100,000 million euros of Russian oil.
Now, the organization warned, “They are finding a way to blend it at 49.9% – the so-called Latvian blend – to introduce it on the European market”referring to what was published in recent days by specialized media.
Aramco, Petrochina and the “Russian giants”
On the other side is Aramco, which before the pandemic struck ten deals with Russian companies during Putin’s visit to the kingdom.
Unlike the previous companies, its official position is not found on its website, although its executive president, Amin Nasser, has acknowledged that the “tragic situation unleashed in Ukraine” will make the energy crisis worse.
The opinion of the Chinese oil companies, including Petrochina, has also not transpired, but international media such as Reuters speak of the fact that they have decided to refrain from new purchases, concerned about the sanctions.
Rosneft has not commented. Nor Gazprom, which has suspended supplies to Bulgaria Y Poland for refusing to pay in rubles for Russian fuel, a decision described as “blackmail” by Brussels and that could affect other European buyers in mid-May, as the Kremlin has said.