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Shell Suspends Russian Shale Oil Venture

Tim Webb, The Times

Western sanctions against Russia have hit Shell, forcing the Anglo-Dutch oil major to suspend its shale gas joint venture with Gazprom Neft.

Shell had teamed up with the state-owned Russian company to explore for an estimated 75 billion barrels of oil thought to lie in the Bazhenov formation in west Siberia, which would dwarf the shale oil resources in the United States.

Last month the United States banned companies from participating in exploration and production projects in deepwater, Arctic offshore and shale projects with blacklisted Russian companies. The blacklisted includes Gazprom Neft, which is the oil division of Gazprom, the gas monopoly.

Asked about Shell’s withdrawal from the joint venture, Alexander Dyukov, head of the Russian company, said: “We continue work . . . by ourselves.”

In a statement, Shell said: “We are working closely with relevant authorities and our partners to determine what the exact impact of [the sanctions] will be.”

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