Company bolsters cash position

Shell scraps divi policy as oil price steadies

Royal Dutch Shell today drew a line under the three-year oil price slump by making a key change to its dividend policy.

The Anglo-Dutch group is scrapping its scrip dividend which allows investors to take payouts in shares or cash and has opted for a cash-only payment.

The scrip dividend was introduced two years ago as a measure to preserve cash. In an update to the market, Shell has raised its cash flow outlook from $25 billion (£18.8bn) to $30 billion by 2020, assuming an oil price of $60 a barrel. This is $5 billion more than the outlook Shell provided during its capital markets day in June 2016. Brent crude is currently trading at $57 a barrel.

Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden said in a statement: “We have also made significant progress with our divestment programme, allowing us to reduce net debt in that time.”

He also outlined the company’s ambition to reduce the net carbon footprint of its energy products.

“Shell aims to cut the net carbon footprint of its energy products – expressed in grams of CO2 per megajoule consumed – by around half by 2050,” he said. “As an interim step, by 2035, we aim to reduce it by around 20%.

“We will do this in step with society’s drive to align with the Paris goals, and we will do it by reducing the net carbon footprint of the full range of Shell emissions, from our operations and from the consumption of our products.”

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