Sep 27, 2019

Royal Dutch Shell searches for a purpose beyond oil

Oil prices had collapsed; Shell had embarked on a complex $53bn takeover of natural gas giant BG Group and the company's offices had been raided over a controversial Nigerian deal. The gathering helped forge a strategy that has seen Shell embrace low-carbon energies while staying focused on the oil and gas business that remains its profit engine. "There is still a very significant imbalance between Shell's investment into new energies and its traditional oil and gas businesses," said Adam Matthews of the Church of England Pensions Board, who has lobbied Shell to set targets on emissions and pledge more investment in low-carbon technologies. The "Single biggest" regret for the Shell boss would be abandoning its oil and gas business prematurely. Until Shell can generate returns from cleaner businesses that match those of oil and gas operations, ploughing money in without restraint is also not an option.

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