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Reuters: Shell to still seek business in Russia -CEO on TV

Sun Jun 10, 2007 2:07 PM BST

AMSTERDAM, June 10 (Reuters) – Anglo-Dutch oil giant Royal Dutch Shell Plc.  will continue to seek business in Russia, where last year it had to cede part of its Sakhalin-2 project, its chief executive told Dutch television.

Shell has the experience to win oil from difficult exploration areas in Russia and the company was not worried about doing business in the country, Chief Executive Jeroen van der Veer told Dutch news programme NOS Journaal in an interview late on Saturday.

“We are a normal company. We are looking at the fundamental aspects (of an investment) — is it good for the environment, good for the people, a successfully run project — and then we continue,” Van der Veer said.

Exxon Mobil Corp. Chief Executive Rex Tillerson last week said his company would likely need more clarity as to how the Russian government plans to treat foreign investors before it considers any new projects there.

Russia, holder of the world’s largest gas reserves, is tightening its grip on the country’s energy industry at a time when firms such as Shell are facing a growing challenge in gaining access to larger sources of new reserves.

State gas monopoly Gazprom bought half of the $22 billion Sakhalin-2 oil and gas project in December from Shell and its partners, sealing the Kremlin’s grip on the huge Russian energy sector.

BP Plc’s Russian joint-venture TNK-BP faces the possible loss of its Kovykta gas field in Eastern Siberia after official accusations last week it has breached the terms of its licence by under-producing.

© Reuters 2007. All Rights Reserved

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