Shell, a Dutch-British company, is one of the global leaders in the energy and petrochemicals sector, with operations in more than 70 countries. Shell has had close partnership ties with Russia for more than a century now.
The company is currently one of the biggest foreign investors in the Russian economy, working in a range of business sectors that include oil and gas exploration, production and transportation, marketing petrochemicals and chemicals, lubricants and engine and industrial oils, developing a retail chain of petrol stations, and providing technology and consulting services to Russian companies.
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Beginning of meeting with Shell CEO Ben van Beurden
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Friends, Mr van Beurden, I wish you a warm welcome.
Russia has longstanding and very good relations with Shell. Shell is one of the biggest investors in the Russian economy.
You work in practically all areas of the energy sector. You are in production of course, have your own chain of petrol stations, and you are also one of the biggest traders of Russian oil, holding about 20 percent of the market in this area. That’s a big figure.
I think that our relations are developing very productively. We have an anniversary to celebrate this year: 20 years of cooperation. We can congratulate each other on very successful work and wish each other more of the same in the future.
Shell CEO Ben Van Beurden: Thank you very much, Mr President, for being able to see me here today. It seems that you know our business in Russia as well as I do.
It’s the second time this year that I visit Russia. The first time was at the spectacular closing ceremony of the Olympics in Sochi. I was there at the special invitation of our partner, Mr Alexei Miller, and I would like to say that I was deeply impressed by the quality of the events and the achievements of the Russian Olympians, and I would like to congratulate you and the Russian Federation on this remarkable achievement. Next month I will be back in Russia again, attending the St Petersburg Economic Forum.
As you said, this is a special occasion because today is the twentieth anniversary of the partnership that we have in Sakhalin, a partnership that we are exceptionally proud of. I think that we have achieved a lot internationally, in the Asian energy markets, and recently when I was in Sochi, I agreed with Alexei Miller to take this project forward into the next phase.
We’d like to build on this very successful, very long-term partnership, based on our outstanding position on the Asian markets, and we believe that this is the right moment to expand the project further. I believe this is a very sensible project and a very effective project for the partners and for the Russian Federation but it is also a project that will need strong support for it to succeed. So, one of my purposes at this meeting, Mr President, is also to seek your support for moving forward with this project.
Next to this project in the Far East, we also have very good cooperation with Gazprom Neft in Siberia, and the joint venture, Salym Petroleum Development, is making a lot of progress. As we speak, Mr President, we are actually drilling the very latest-design horizontal fracking well at the Bazhenov shale, which is a very promising area in the Russian Federation.
But at the same time, we are also looking at boosting more conventional resources by deploying the very latest technology together with our partner, Gazprom Neft, which will result in enhanced oil recovery. But in addition to these two very successful existing ventures, we are very keen to continue to develop our position in the Russian Federation, Mr President.
You may remember, a year ago, when you visited my country, you witnessed the signing of a number of memorandums we put together with Gazprom Neft, on Arctic development but also on conventional resource development in the Bazhenov shale. We have made progress since then and perhaps a little later I will update you on the progress made.
But it’s also fair to say, as you yourself said, Mr President, among the international oil companies, we are probably the most diversified international company working here in the Russian Federation. We have more than a hundred retail sites in Russia, and we have a remarkable lubricants market position with the lubricants being manufactured here in Russia. We are the only international oil company that has managed a project on such a scale in Russia.
Mr President, we came to Russia more than 100 years ago. We are a company with a long-term vision and we intend and aspire to be a long-term partner of the Russian Federation. We are very proud of the position that we have achieved here but we also look forward with confidence to developing further our ties with and presence in this country.
Vladimir Putin: Mr Chief Executive, we certainly do have longstanding cooperation with your company.
I am pleased to hear that the company plans to expand its activities. Whether working together with our European partners or carrying out particular projects independently, we will of course provide the needed administrative backup and support.
As I said, I hope that our cooperation will continue just as successfully as it has over these last years.