Royal Dutch Shell To Cancel Scrip Dividend Program; Announces $25 Billion Share Buyback

Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSA.LN) said on Tuesday that it would be canceling its scrip-dividend program--dividends paid in shares in lieu of cash payments--from the fourth-quarter of 2017, as well as announcing a planned share-buyback program of $25 billion between 2017 and 2020.

The Anglo-Dutch oil-and-gas company added that it was raising its outlook for annual organic free cash flow to between $25 billion and $30 billion by 2020, at a Brent crude oil price of $60 per barrel in 2016 real terms.

The company, which has undertaken a $30 billion divestment program, said it has made another $2 billion in divestments on top of the $23 billion completed, and has $5 billion in advanced progress. Once the program is completed, it will continue divestments at an average rate of more than $5 billion a year until at least 2020.

Shell said that reducing debt remains a priority and that it was approaching gearing--which is a measure of a company's debt levels--of 20% after more than $5 billion worth of divestments following the third quarter.

The company reported that it remains on track to deliver 1 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, and $10 billion of cash flow from operations of new projects by 2018 at $60 per barrel in 2016 real terms.

Annual underlying operational expenditure will be below $38 billion until 2020, the company said, while annual capital investment will continue to be between $20 billion and $25 billion, and if oil prices stay at current levels it will be managed towards the lower end of that range, or below it if needed.

Write to Carlo Martuscelli at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 28, 2017 02:54 ET (07:54 GMT)