Since the invasion of Ukraine there has been a rush for the exit by many big household name companies. Many of those heading for the door have done business in and with Russia for decades - but it's taken just weeks to slam into reverse. Tuesday's big development has been an apology from Shell and a new commitment to withdraw from its involvement with all Russian oil, gas and petrol. The company had been heavily criticised for buying a cargo of Russian crude oil last week. On Tuesday it issued a statement saying that decision “was not the right one and we are sorry”.
But the statement from Shell underlines the problems. It says it will take time to “disentangle society from Russian energy flows”.
It needs to find the right alternatives in the right places, which could take weeks and will therefore reduce output from refineries. That's likely to put even more upward pressure on prices.
Already the global cost of oil and gas are spiralling, leading to high forecourt prices in the UK. The RAC is warning we are rapidly heading towards an average of 160p a litre - and already far higher prices are being charged on many forecourts around the country.
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