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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Government Tells Shell to Stop Working

Royal Dutch/Shell Group said its $1.16 billion venture to tap west Siberian oil fields was told by Russia to halt work over alleged breaches of license conditions, heightening concerns about the safety of investing in the country.

Shell and partner Sibir Energy were told last week to suspend work at the upper Salym field, where they had been pumping about 2,000 barrels per day of oil, because Russia objected to changes in the companies' development plans, said John Fowler, Shell's head of operations at Salym. Work there already had been stopped for maintenance that is due to end 10 days from now.

"I'm very concerned with what is happening at the moment to the Salym licenses," said John Barry, head of Shell's Russian operations, at a press conference in Moscow. "The sort of attack we're seeing at the moment only adds to the uncertainty in the minds of investors in light of other ongoing events in Russia."

Barry declined to elaborate on which events he was referring to.

Shell and Sibir also received a 90-day warning for the license to the west Salym field.