Throwing in the towel

That didn't take long.  Just a week after Russian prosecutors filed criminal charges against Royal Dutch/Shell and other developers of the Sakhalin gas field, Shell is all but giving up its stake in the project.  Reports the Wall Street Journal:

Shell has proposed ceding a controlling stake in the Sakhalin-2 project in Russia's far east to state-run OAO Gazprom, an official close to the situation said. Another person close to the talks stressed they are continuing and an agreement hasn't been reached. Such a move would underscore the Kremlin's opposition to foreign control of large energy projects in Russia at a time when an increasingly confident Russian state, buoyed by high oil prices, is determined to restore its domination of the country's oil and natural-gas industry.

it's also a time when an increasingly territorial Vladimir Putin, buoyed by high oil prices, is determined to put Russia's energy assets in the hands of as many cronies as possible.