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Leveraging Big Oil to resolve the Ukrainian crisis

Shell's Ben van Beurden bows to Putin on Good Friday, 18 April 2014

Shell’s Ben van Beurden bows to Putin on Good Friday, 18 April 2014

Extract from an article published 25 April 2014 by

Bloomberg’s Business Week reports that even while Western governments and Russia squared off over Ukraine, relations between the major energy companies — such as ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell and BP — and Russia grew even cozier as they pursued the half a trillion dollar oil and gas joint venture deal in the Arctic and Siberia concluded in 2011. The implications are clear: Any comprehensive sanctions against Russia will have adverse effects on major Western energy companies. The strenuous efforts by Big Oil CEOs to reassure Putin that Obama’s sanction threats are empty threats have been noted by close watchers of the energy sector. While Obama and US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice were threatening sanctions on Russia’s “very significant sectors,” Royal Dutch Shell’s CEO Ben Van Beurden met with Putin at his residence in the outskirts of Moscow and assured him, confidently, that his company’s business interests in Russia would not be sacrificed to international politics.

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