Oil titan Shell will be forced to sell a controlling share in its Sakhalin gas project to Russian state gas monopoly Gazprom, as was widely predicted, the Guardian newspaper has reported.
Ever since the Kremlin threatened heavy sanctions against Shell for alleged environmental breeches in the development of its gas processing facility on the east Russian island of Sakhalin, energy industry onlookers have been predicting that control of the project would eventually be wrestled away from the western European outfit.
Now that reality appears to be coming to pass, according to the Guardian, Moscow has reportedly ordered Shell to sell a controlling share in the business to state gas giant Gazprom.
The development is seen as part of a wider policy from President Putin’s government to gain control of Russia’s natural resources so that the former Soviet state can reestablish itself as a new super power from an energy perspective.
With this goal in mind, BP is also reportedly facing potential Moscow interference in a Siberian project it is developing.