Oil and gas supermajor, Royal Dutch Shell plc, also known as Shell, has reportedly purchased crude oil from Russia this week at a bargain price, a first such trade since Russian President, Vladimir Putin, invaded Ukraine.
It was reported last week that Shell made a purchase from Trafigura, a trader of Brent crude, of approximately 725,000 barrels at a discounted price, with each barrel costing $28.50 less than the global benchmark.
Shell, confirming its purchase of a crude oil consignment, defended itself by saying that the decision was made to prevent disruption for European consumers, insisting that there were no alternative supply options that would have reached on time otherwise.
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba, criticized the move as he tweeted of being told that Shell discreetly purchased Russian oil and asked the company how it could make such a decision in face of all the documented atrocities being committed by the selling government.
Minister Kuleba further called upon everyone to demand multinational companies to cut their business ties with Russia.
Shell said in a statement that the decision of purchasing the cargo was difficult and that it was not taken lightly, adding that the company is appalled by the war in Ukraine and understood the impact of its decision.
It said that the energy industry could not have ensured continued supply of essential products to consumers across the EU in the coming weeks without an uninterrupted supply of crude oil to refineries, and that alternative sources’ cargoes would not have arrived in time to avoid market supply disruptions.
The British-Dutch corporation said that because of how significant Russian oil is to global supply, it cannot choose alternatives overnight, but that it will do so whenever possible.
Shell was among many oil firms that have announced plans of cutting ties with Moscow, and was also selling its stake from the joint ventures between the firm and Gazprom, a Russian state-owned energy company, as well as ending its involvement in the construction of Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.