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Shell has commenced the staff withdrawal process from Russian projects as part of its plan to exit investments in Russia, in response to its military action against Ukraine, reported Bloomberg News.

The firm is withdrawing dozens of employees on temporary assignment from its joint ventures (JVs) with Russia’s Gazprom, including the Sakhalin-2 liquefied natural gas (LNG) export project.

Shell holds a 27.5% stake in the Sakhalin-2 integrated oil and gas project. It partners are Gazprom (50%), Mitsui (12.5%), and Mitsubishi (10%).

The employees, who were removed over the weekend, will be relocated back to other offices, reported the publication, citing people familiar with the development.

The withdrawal of staff would not affect the operations at the facility, the people said.

According to an emailed statement from the company, the firm is releasing its seconded employees in ventures with Gazprom Neft, and Gazprom, in phases.

A Shell spokesperson said: “Our key focus in this process is safety of our people and operations, and compliance with applicable laws.”

Earlier this month, Shell said the withdrawal from Russian operations would result in $4bn to $5bn of impairments.

The energy major, which also owns a 50% interest in the Salym Petroleum Development and the Gydan energy JVs in Russia, also stopped (LNG) vessels chartered from Russia-based companies.

Gydan is a JV between Shell and Gazprom Neft and focuses on exploring and developing blocks in the Gydan peninsula, in northwestern Siberia.

Shell also recently announced plans to withdraw from the $11.2bn Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, which runs between Russia and Germany.