Shell raises dividend as CEO says oil output past peak

LONDON: Royal Dutch
Shell on Thursday raised its dividend after simply beating quarterly profit forecasts and CEO Ben van Beurden stated the group’s oil output in all probability peaked in 2019 as he spearheads a transition to low-carbon power.

The Anglo-Dutch firm hit file earnings from its huge retail division, regardless of the impression on demand of the COVID-19 pandemic, which it stated continued to generate “significant uncertainty”.

In an indication of renewed confidence in its brief and long-term outlook,
Shell stated it could increase its dividend on an annual foundation solely six months after it reduce the payout for the primary time because the Nineteen Forties.

“We are starting a new era of dividend growth,” van Beurden instructed reporters in a name.

The firm’s shares, which have lagged friends, rose 3.2% by 1000 GMT.

Shell is planning a significant restructuring as a part of “a complete overhaul” to scale back greenhouse gas emissions to web zero by 2050.

In line with plans to shrink its oil and fuel portfolio, it stated on Thursday it could reduce its oil refineries from 14 websites to 6 “energy and chemical parks”.

Van Beurden stated that 2019 was seemingly the “high point” of
Shell‘s oil manufacturing, when it reached round 1.7 million barrels per day, as it shifts extra capital to the renewables, hydrogen and energy enterprise.

It named 9 hubs for oil and fuel manufacturing: Brazil, Brunei, Gulf of Mexico, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Nigeria, Oman, Permian and Britain’s North Sea.

Shell additionally plans to shed as much as 9,000 jobs, or greater than 10% of its workforce.

Shell‘s shares have dropped by greater than 60% to this point this yr, greater than another main oil firm, as buyers fret over the impression of the pandemic on power demand and the long-term power transition.

But following its sturdy quarterly outcomes,
Shell outlined a long-term plan to scale back debt to $65 billion and to purpose for shareholder distributions of 20-30% of money move. Its debt on the finish of September was $73.5 billion, down from $77.8 billion within the earlier quarter.

Shell‘s capital funding will stay between $19 and $22 billion within the close to time period whereas it targets annual divestments of $4 billion.

Shell‘s peer BP on Tuesday reported forecast-beating revenue, however has no plans to lift its dividend after reducing it earlier this yr. Eni posted a third-quarter loss on Wednesday, additionally leaving its dividend at diminished ranges.


Shell stated the pandemic’s impression on demand has prolonged into the fourth quarter, with refining anticipated to run at 69% to 77% of capability.

“As a result of COVID-19, there continues to be significant uncertainty in the macroeconomic conditions with an expected negative impact on demand for oil, gas and related products,”
Shell stated in a press release.

Its adjusted earnings within the third quarter fell 80% to $955 million, however simply beat company-provided common analysts forecasts of a $146 million revenue.

Shell elevated its quarterly dividend to 16.65 cents.

“Very sturdy efficiency from
Shell, handsomely beating our and consensus estimates,” Bernstein analyst Oswald Clint stated in a notice.

The outcomes had been pushed by a file revenue from
Shell‘s advertising division, which incorporates the world’s greatest retail community. Earnings within the section had been up 10% on the yr at $1.6 billion for the quarter on 20% decrease product gross sales than a yr in the past.

“We have more retail sites than our competitors and we serve more than 30 million customers every day… providing fuels, lubricants, electric vehicle charging points, food and even groceries,” van Beurden instructed a convention name.

Shell, the world’s greatest Liquefied Natural Gas dealer, wrote down the worth of its LNG portfolio by just below $1 billion within the quarter, specializing in its flagship Prelude undertaking in Australia.

Shell had reduce the worth of its oil and fuel property, together with Prelude, by $16.8 billion within the second quarter after sharply decreasing its worth outlook.

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