Norway’s state energy company Equinor, which is already exiting its projects in Russia, has decided it will also stop trading in Russian oil and oil products.
“This means that we will not enter any new trades or engage in transport of oil and oil products from Russia,” Equinor said on Monday.
The company announcement came as part of a wider move to exit Russia and includes getting a full overview of all relevant aspects, including legal obligations.
“Equinor has certain contractual commitments arising out of contracts entered into prior to the invasion. This includes contracts signed in January this year, under which Equinor will receive four oil cargoes in March,” the company revealed.
Two of these cargoes are sold on to customers in Asia, the third is a naphtha cargo that will be delivered to an Equinor contracted storage facility, and the fourth is a feedstock cargo destined for the Mongstad refinery in Norway.
“Receiving these cargoes is in full compliance with current sanctions,” Equinor said.
The company added it is continuing its work to exit Russia in a responsible way while ensuring compliance with all applicable laws, including sanctions.
Equinor has been in Russia for more than 30 years and during that time has developed “close relationships” with Russian energy companies and communities — including a co-operation agreement with Rosneft, entered into in 2012.
“We are all deeply troubled by the invasion of Ukraine, which represents a terrible setback for the world, and we are thinking of all those who are suffering because of the military action,” Equinor chief executive Anders Opedal said in late February, when the company first announced its Rexit plans.
“In the current situation, we regard our position as untenable. We will now stop new investments into our Russian business, and we will start the process of exiting our joint ventures in a manner that is consistent with our values.”
Equinor said it is operating in compliance with Norwegian, European Union and US sanctions and would continue to comply with any new sanctions relevant to its operations.
At the end of 2021 Equinor had US$1.2 billion in non-current assets in Russia. The company expects its move to exit joint ventures in Russia will impact the book value of these assets and lead to impairments.