The Board of Shell plc (‘Shell’) yesterday announced its intention to exit its joint ventures with Gazprom and related entities, including its 27.5% stake in the Sakhalin-II LNG facility, its 50% stake in the Salym Petroleum Development and the Gydan energy venture. Shell also intends to end its involvement in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project.
“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,” said Shell’s CEO, Ben van Beurden.
Shell’s staff in Ukraine and other countries has been working together to manage the company’s response to the crisis locally. Shell will also work with aid partners and humanitarian agencies to help in the relief effort.
“Our decision to exit is one we take with conviction,” said van Beurden. “We cannot – and we will not – stand by. Our immediate focus is the safety of our people in Ukraine and supporting our people in Russia. In discussion with governments around the world, we will also work through the detailed business implications, including the importance of secure energy supplies to Europe and other markets, in compliance with relevant sanctions.”
At the end of 2021, Shell had around US$3 billion in non-current assets in these ventures in Russia. It is expected that the decision to start the process of exiting joint ventures with Gazprom and related entities will impact the book value of Shell’s Russia assets and lead to impairments.
Shell’s Powering Progress strategy and financial framework remain unchanged. They reiterate their progressive dividend policy and intent to distribute 20-30% of CFFO to shareholders in the form of dividends and share buybacks while targeting a strong balance sheet with long-term AA credit metrics. Shell stepped up their distributions by announcing an US$8.5 billion share buyback programme for the first half of 2022, and they expect to increase their dividend per share by 4% for 1Q22.
Read the article online at: https://www.worldpipelines.com/business-news/01032022/shell-intends-to-exit-equity-partnerships-held-with-gazprom/