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Shell Boss Says No One Will Be Fired Over Russian Oil Purchase

  • Van Beurden takes responsibility for controversial Urals trade
  • CEO calls deal a bad decision during a virtual town hall
Ben van Beurden
Ben van BeurdenPhotographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Shell Plc’s chief executive officer took personal responsibility for a controversial purchase of Russian crude oil last week and said no one would be fired for it, people with direct knowledge of the matter said.

Europe’s largest oil company suffered blowback after buying a cargo of Urals crude at a record-low discount from Trafigura Group on March 4, just days after saying it would divest from Russia because of the Ukraine invasion. Shell initially defended the deal, saying it was in line with government guidance, but the energy giant later apologized and committed to ending all purchases of Russian oil, refined products and gas.