Sources with direct knowledge stated that after the purchase of a cargo filled with Russian oil at an exceptional price, the CEO of Shell Plc has taken personal responsibility.
Considered Europe’s largest oil company, Shell, just days after saying it would divest from Russia because of the Ukraine invasion, suffered blowback after buying a cargo of Urals crude at a record discount from Trafigura Group on March 4. Shell initially defended the deal, saying it was in line with government guidance, but the energy giant later apologized and reassured its commitment to stop purchasing Russian gas, oil and refined products.
CEO Ben van Beurden was asked whether anyone would be fired over the trade, the 63-year-old Dutchman said no during a companywide virtual town hall, adding that the purchasing decision was not made by an individual trader and it had been taken up the chain of command.
After an avalanche of criticism, Shell said cargoes from other sources wouldn’t have arrived soon enough to avoid supply disruptions. The London-based company bought the offending shipment from Trafigura at $28.50 a barrel below Dated Brent, a benchmark for physical oil trades globally.
Shell refused to provide any direct comments on the matter.