Shell Looking to Make the Right Moves After Brexit
The rippling effects of the June 23 Brexit vote continue to be felt around the world, with Royal Dutch Shell also in the path of that impact. The company is in the midst of selling assets in the North Sea in order to satisfy the need for continued dividends paid out to shareholders.
The drop in oil prices over the past two years has made the delivery of a dividend, which had once served as a steady flow of cash, more difficult to accommodate. Now, with the Brexit vote having caused the price of sterling to drop precipitously just one month later, obtaining a good price for those multiple North Sea assets has also become much harder.
The original goal was to divest $30 billion worth of North Sea assets, with some of the company’s revenue depleted by the purchase of BG Group. Some of the likely targets to be sold are those oil fields that are in the mature phase of their production capability and those on the verge of being decommissioned.
One week after the Brexit vote, the company’s CEO, Ben van Beurden, spoke about the need to maintain both free trade and the free flow of people within the European Union. One of the key reasons why the company is focused on maintaining these connections is due to their tax situation. It has United Kingdom plc status, though its official tax residence is located in the Netherlands.
Another area of concern could be the company’s goal of staying below 2C when it comes to the issue of the rising temperature related to climate change. Finding new ways to not only achieve carbon capture but also store it safely are key parts of this overall equation, with Shell hoping to be carbon neutral by 2070.