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Reuters

Shell will exit all its Russian operations, including a major liquefied natural gas plant, it said on Monday, becoming the latest major Western energy company to quit the oil-rich country following Moscow’s Invasion of Ukraine.

The decision comes a day after rival BP abandoned its stake in Russian oil giant Rosneft in a move that could cost the British company over $25 billion. Norway’s Equinox also plans to exit Russia.

Shell said in a statement it will quit the flagship Sakhalin 2 LNG plant in which it holds a 27.5% stake, and which is 50%owned and operated by Russian gas giant Gazprom.

Shell said the decision to exit Russian joint ventures will lead to impairments. Shell had around $3 billion in non-current assets in these ventures in Russia at the end of 2021, it said.

“We are shocked by the loss of life in Ukraine, which we deplore, resulting from a senseless act of military aggression which threatens European security,”

Shell Chief Executive Benvan Beurden said in a statement.

Rival BP’s Chief Executive Bernard Looney called an urgent meeting with his leadership team on Thursday, just hours after the first Russian bombs fell on Ukrainian capital Kyiv last week, two BP sources told Reuters. Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a “special operation”.

During that previously unreported meeting, Looney made it clear the company’s investment in Rosneft had become untenable, the sources said.

“There was only one decision we could make,” one of the BP insiders said. “The exit was the only viable way.”

Looney held two more board meetings at the weekend, after which board members voted to immediately exit the Rosneft stake, the sources said.

Looney also spoke to British Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng on Friday, when Kwarteng expressed his concern about BP’s interests in Russia. Kwarteng welcomed BP’s decision to exit on Twitter on Sunday.

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