May 10, 2022
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You can’t ruin a car with oil. Or spoil? Shell leaves Russia, what will be in return and when

You can't ruin a car with oil.  Or spoil?  Shell leaves Russia, what will be in return and when

Photo: Valery Matytsin/TASS

All filling stations under the Shell brand will close one of these days, the company announced its withdrawal from Russia, and preparations began for the sale of assets. However, car owners do not lose anything, moreover, they now do not have to overpay. As such, there is no foreign fuel on the Russian market; visitors to “branded” gas stations only give money for a trademark.

— Why are you refueling at Shell?

– Excellent gasoline, there is no such thing at Russian gas stations. And less consumption – a liter and a half!

– Yah! There is no imported gasoline here, it is exactly the same from our refineries!

— Is it true? Well, it’s strange, because this is Shell – a brand …

A typical conversation among car enthusiasts, the author also repeatedly explained to his friends that it makes no sense to buy fuel at “imported” gas stations. More expensive by a ruble, one and a half, two per liter, while the quality is the same. Sometimes downright bad. Service – too, as lucky. Everything is like everywhere else. They can cheat, underfill, cheat. There is no point in overpaying.

“Shell gasoline was not in the country. Essentially, the Shell network operated as an independent operator. They also bought from Gazpromneft, if we talk about the Moscow region, from the Moscow Oil Refinery. Moreover, I think that filling stations will operate under the Shell brand on a franchise basis for some more time,” explains the president of the Independent Fuel Union. Pavel Bazhenov.

“Shell shell” strife. The most terrible “beast” is the “village shell”. The author was somehow lucky to refuel there, it’s good at least “the toad strangled” – he filled it up a little. Because it’s expensive. Unpretentious fuel Mitsubishi Outlander XL (engine 2.0) after that refused to go, so, barely crawled. They scraped to the neighboring gas station, diluted it – the car more or less went. If anyone is interested, it was in the Vologda region, on the Kholmogory federal highway. The case of Vasily Alibabaevich is clearly flourishing there.

“We confirm that negotiations are currently underway for the sale of Shell Oil, which owns a network of gas stations and a lubricants production plant in Torzhok. In order to ensure the sale of Shell Oil to the new owner, the work of the Shell gas station and the lubricants plant will be temporarily suspended in the coming days, ”Shell said in a statement.

Good riddance! Gas stations seem to be going to be bought by Lukoil, but there is no exact information yet. Someone will definitely buy, the complexes are quite high-quality. Although nothing particularly outstanding, Russian colleagues have long been working at the same level.

The factory in Torzhok should be called a packaging factory, and not a “production” at all. Also will not remain ownerless. By the way, in terms of the percentage of fake automotive oil, Shell confidently closes the top three, yielding to the permanent leader – Mobil – and the “silver medalist” in the face of Castrol. Yes, real Shell oil is good. But it has always been difficult to buy it, mainly they traded in “bodyaga”. And they continue to sell it.

Together, along with the exit from Russian oil and gas projects, Royal Dutch Shell lost $4.2 billion in the first quarter of 2022 alone. Their choice. British Petroleum – $25.5 billion. And, yes, these gas stations will also close. When exactly is not yet known, but it will not be too long to wait.

The main losses of BP are by no means due to retail, it just continues to work and make a profit. And they don’t have that many gas stations – only about a hundred. Shell has much more – around 400 pieces. British Petroleum has already calculated the cost of withdrawing from joint projects with Rosneft and, in fact, selling a stake in this Russian company. Counted – and shed a tear. Well, free – will …

The Italians are still silent, which is not surprising. The retail business of the Eni SpA group in Russia somehow did not work out, for the whole country there was ONE gas station under the Agip brand. Why they don’t close is unclear. Nobody would have noticed.

Earlier, Aero and Neste stationed in St. Petersburg left the Russian Federation. The reasons for the “escape” were simple – there are no super-profits of past years, “the loot was cut down”, and you can sell the business. Moreover, our people are brand-dependent, it’s not bad to play on this too. And they played: until 2024, Tatneft, which bought the network from the Finns, has the right to operate the Neste brand. True, now the Chukhons can try and buck, but it’s not a fact that they won’t be stupidly “sent”. The money has been paid, and these gas stations have a permanent clientele. You need to “beat off” investments.

In general, nothing will change on the Russian retail fuel market with the departure of foreigners. In addition to a number of not very smart individuals who are ready to overpay for a mythical quality, the people will not notice the loss of fighters. Yes, and why? Lukoil has about 2,500 gas stations across the country, Rosneft has more – 3,100 or so. In total, there are about 15,000 filling stations in Russia, about 40% of them belong to oil companies, the rest are “independent”. Against the background of such extras, “non-residents” somehow do not look.

But in the market for motor oils, changes are possible. With Shell products, as you might guess, you have to say goodbye. She will stay, of course. “Parallel imports”, smuggling and “leftists”. But the share of fakes will grow incredibly. Castrol (part of the BP holding) has not been supplying oil to the Russian Federation since the very beginning of the “special operation” in Ukraine, that is, for two months now. And other products too. Therefore, what lies on the shelves can only be guessed at.

Exxon Mobil has decided to completely withdraw from Russia by June 24, 2022, but for now the activity is “frozen”. There is still something left in the warehouses, but there are no new arrivals of Mobil oils. And not yet expected.

It seems like there is no particular tragedy either. All Russian oil companies have long established the production of motor oils, among them there are recognized leaders and popular brands among the people. The percentage of counterfeit goods is small, since our oilmen are fighting extremely hard against crooks. But they should only count this as a plus. The products are of high quality, certified by all the world’s leading automotive brands, so everything seems to be just fine.

But this is only at first glance. “Import substitution”, alas, is far from complete, since the most important components – the so-called “additives” – are exclusively foreign. Their leading producers are controlled by American and British capital. So they don’t sell anymore. So far, there seems to be a reserve – for five years or so. In any case, such information is gradually spread by Russian manufacturing companies. Kind of don’t worry.

As for transmission oils, everything is worse; domestic companies do not make the most modern ATF-type fluids. But the most common produce. Also based on imported components, and it also seems like there is a reserve of these.

There are no attachments. Because no one developed them. The entire Soviet backlog on this topic has been destroyed – scientists and technologists have been lost, and laboratories and production facilities have been destroyed. Why make something when you can just buy it? This is exactly what the oil “oligarchs” did. Actually, even now no positive movements are noticeable. Only the topic of replacing one import with another is developing – American and European additives with Korean and Chinese ones. As usual, the nouveaux riches are unwilling to invest a dime in Russia.

All attempts by small and medium-sized businesses over the past 10-20 years to give birth to something of their own have stumbled upon misunderstanding and outright sabotage by officials. Almost no one survived. So, in the Russian Federation there is only one company specializing in the production of antifriction additives. It is located in Bryansk and produces materials under the Modengy brand. All sailed!

This is indeed the problem. And it requires immediate action. Namely, the support of Russian developers and manufacturers. And with the immediate introduction of new products. And this is the most difficult thing, given the frankly anti-Russian sentiments of the “oligarchs”. Plus their greed. It is corny cheaper to supply from imported components – no matter what – there is no need to invest in science, in the organization of new industries. The Russian “oil industry” is sick and requires urgent surgical intervention.

“Nationalization through the purchase of assets for money can be cheaper than any confiscation if you audit the business and ask the privatizers to return what they have stolen – sometimes decades of ownership of the property of the people. In this case, due to the scale of theft (sometimes unknown even to the oligarchs themselves), the balance may turn out to be so unfavorable for them that they will beg for forgiveness of the plundered, that is, for free nationalization, ”says a State Duma deputy, Doctor of Economics Mikhail Delyagin.

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