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Sanctions do not exclude investment opportunities in Russia – Shell

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Neil Hall / Reuters: 6 Oct 2015

Royal Dutch Shell’s business ties remain strong in Russia and there’s no lack of investment opportunities in the country despite sanctions, said Shell CEO Ben Van Beurden.

“Our interests in Russia stay significant… Sanctions do not mean absence of investment opportunities. We have a very effective and strategic cooperation with Gazprom in different areas… This is still in power. I want to stress that sanctions don’t mean lack of investment opportunities,” he told the Oil & Money conference on Tuesday.

Van Beurden added that Russia is an extremely important country in terms of energy.

“Surely, there are areas which are under sanctions, and we obey them. But that does not mean lack of opportunities,” the head of Shell said, adding that his company has a long-term strategy towards Russia.

Shell’s joint project with Gazprom in Russia’s Far East was cancelled in August, after the US government included it on its sanctions list. The two energy majors signed agreements to develop a strategic alliance in the gas sector. However, new gas exploration activities on Sakhalin Island have been restricted under pressure from Washington.

In the oil sector, EU and US sanctions limited exploration by Gazprom, Gazprom Neft, Lukoil, Surgutneftegaz, and Rosneft. The EU has also halted exports of services Russia needs to extract oil and gas in Arctic, deep sea, and shale projects.

But the heads of Shell and Total said their companies would continue working in Russia despite sanctions.

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