By Justin Scheck
LONDON-- Royal Dutch Shell PLC said Wednesday that it withdrew from negotiations over an offshore exploration deal in the Black Sea, west of Crimea. Shell made the decision to pull out in January, a spokesman said.
The Anglo-Dutch energy major was part of a group of companies including Exxon Mobil Corp. that struck a deal with the Ukraine government to develop the offshore Skifska oil-and-gas field.
"In the Ukraine, we maintain our interest in the Skifska license, but it is on hold due to current circumstances," Exxon Senior Vice President Andrew Swiger told analysts at a meeting earlier this month.
The Ukrainian government announced the deal in 2012, but a Shell spokesman said Wednesday that Shell still hadn't signed the agreement at the time it pulled out in January. The spokesman said Shell is still pursuing other Ukraine projects, including exploration for "tight" natural gas in underground rock formations.
Shell's withdrawal preceded pullouts from the region by Ford Motor Co. and retailer Metro AG. Ford earlier this week said it would reassess a Russian joint venture. Metro postponed plans to issue an initial public offering of its Russian Cash & Carry business.
Daniel Gilbert contributed to this article.
Write to Justin Scheck at email@example.com
Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires