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Shell Promises Profits from Trading Russian Oil will go to Charity

Shell PLC said it would donate profits from purchases of Russian oil to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine after an outcry over the company’s bid for a cargo of Russian crude. The company said it would choose alternatives to Russian oil where possible but that it couldn’t stop buying the oil overnight because Russia contributes such a big chunk of global supplies.

Shell said its refiners require some Russian oil to produce gasoline and diesel. issued the weekend statement after buying 100,000 metric tons of Russia’s Urals crude at a bargain price on Friday. Shell issued the weekend statement, paying $28.50 a barrel less than benchmark crude prices. The Journal reported citing people familiar with the transaction, the most significant discount on record.

The purchase caught the attention of the Ukrainian government, the British media, and rival traders because Western energy companies had shunned Russian oil since Moscow’s invasion. Shell said it would give profits from Russian oil it buys to a fund and work with aid organizations and humanitarian agencies to find where the money can best be deployed to alleviate suffering among Ukrainians.

Following the imposition of sanctions on Moscow, oil traders, refiners, and the bankers who finance the trade in crude balked at taking part in oil purchases from Russia, one of the world’s largest producers. The sapping of Russian oil from Western markets propelled prices higher, with benchmark U.S. oil prices hitting $115 a barrel on Friday, the highest level since 2008.

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