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.

The Daily Reckoning