Royal Dutch Shell has announced it will reduce spending by more than $15 billion in the next three years due to decline in oil prices.
Shell’s boss Ben van Beurden says: “Our strategy is delivering, but we’re not complacent. Weaker oil prices underline that there’s a lot more to do. The three themes of financial performance, capital efficiency and project delivery will remain as Shell’s priorities in 2015.”
For the full yer 2014, the company recorded a $19.0 billion current cost of supplies (CCS) earnings, compared to $16.7 billion in the previous year. Shell profits for the last three months of 2014 also jumped to $4.2 billion versus $2.2 billion in the same period a year earlier.
Furthermore, the company announced a fourth quarter 2014 dividend of $0.47 per ordinary share. The first quarter 2015 interim dividend is scheduled to be announced on April 30, 2015.
Shell slowed down its share buyback program at the end of 2014 to conserve cash, and said that near-term oil prices will dictate the buyback pace. In 2014 the company repurchased $3.3 billion of shares and sold approximately $15 billion in assets over the last year before the markets had weakened.
Commenting on the latest company moves to cut spending, Van Beurden concluded: “We are taking a prudent approach here and we must be careful not to over-react to the recent fall in oil prices. Shell is taking structured decisions to balance growth and returns.”
Shell has also released a video where Ben Van Beurden comments on the Q4 2014 results.