The Hague, March 23, 2020 - As the COVID-19 virus spreads across the 
world - seriously impacting people's health, our way of life and global 
markets - Shell is putting the safety and health of our people and 
customers first, along with the safe operations of all our businesses. 
   At the same time, we are taking decisive action to reinforce the 
financial strength and resilience of our business so that we are 
well-positioned for the eventual economic recovery. 
   "As well as protecting our staff and customers in this difficult time, 
we are also taking immediate steps to ensure the financial strength and 
resilience of our business," said Ben van Beurden, Chief Executive 
Officer of Royal Dutch Shell. "The combination of steeply falling oil 
demand and rapidly increasing supply may be unique, but Shell has 
weathered market volatility many times in the past." 
   "In these very tough conditions, I am very proud of our staff and 
contractors across the world for maintaining their focus on safe and 
reliable operations while also ensuring their own health and welfare and 
that of their families, communities and our customers." 
   In order to deliver sustainable cash flow generation, Shell is actively 
managing all our operational and financial levers -- from focusing on 
maintaining safe and reliable operations each day to reducing capital 
spend and operating expenses. 
   Today, we are announcing that we have embarked on a series of 
operational and financial initiatives that are expected to result in: 
   -- reduction of underlying operating costs by $3-4 billion per annum over 
      the next 12 months compared to 2019 levels; 
   -- reduction of cash capital expenditure to $20 billion or below for 2020 
      from a planned level of around $25 billion; and 
   -- material reductions in working capital. 
   Together, these initiatives are expected to contribute $8 - 9 billion of 
free cash flow on a pre-tax basis. Shell is still committed to its 
divestment programme of more than $10 billion of assets in 2019-20 but 
timing depends on market conditions. 
   The Board of Royal Dutch Shell has decided not to continue with the next 
tranche of the share buyback programme following the completion of the 
current share buyback tranche. 
   We will continue to review the dynamically evolving business environment 
and are prepared to take further strategic decisions and consider 
changes to the overall financial framework as necessary. 
   In the current environment, Shell's financial resilience is fundamental 
to continued investment in our strategic priorities. Shell seeks to 
maintain strong financial credit metrics and ensure it has a robust 
balance sheet to manage volatility. Shell's liquidity remains strong, 
with around $20 billion in cash and cash equivalents, $10 billion of 
undrawn credit lines under our revolving credit facility and access to 
our extensive commercial paper programmes. 
   Read about Shell's global response to COVID-19 at 
   Shell will publish its next quarterly update note on 31 March 2020 and 
release its Q1 2020 results on 30 April 2020. 
   Notes to editor 
   -- Divestments of around $5 billion of assets were completed in 2019 
   -- Current share buyback tranche refers to the $1 billion share buybacks 
      announced on 30 January 2020 
   -- Shell is rated AA- with negative outlook by S&P and Aa2 with stable 
      outlook by Moody's 
   Royal Dutch Shell plc 
   Investor Relations: 
   Europe + 31 (0) 70 377 4540 
   North America +1 832 337 2034 
   International +44 (0) 207 934 5550 
   Americas +1 832 337 4355 
   Cautionary Note 
   The companies in which Royal Dutch Shell plc directly and indirectly 
owns investments are separate legal entities. In this announcement 
"Shell", "Shell Group" and "Royal Dutch Shell" are sometimes used for 
convenience where references are made to Royal Dutch Shell plc and its 
subsidiaries in general. Likewise, the words "we", "us" and "our" are 
also used to refer to Royal Dutch Shell plc and its subsidiaries in 
general or to those who work for them. These terms are also used where 
no useful purpose is served by identifying the particular entity or 
entities. "Subsidiaries", "Shell subsidiaries" and "Shell companies" 
as used in this announcement refer to entities over which Royal Dutch 
Shell plc either directly or indirectly has control. Entities and 
unincorporated arrangements over which Shell has joint control are 
generally referred to as "joint ventures" and "joint operations", 
respectively.  Entities over which Shell has significant influence but 
neither control nor joint control are referred to as "associates". The 
term "Shell interest" is used for convenience to indicate the direct 
and/or indirect ownership interest held by Shell in an entity or 
unincorporated joint arrangement, after exclusion of all third-party 
   This announcement contains forward-looking statements (within the 
meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995) 
concerning the financial condition, results of operations and businesses 
of Royal Dutch Shell. All statements other than statements of historical 
fact are, or may be deemed to be, forward-looking statements. 
Forward-looking statements are statements of future expectations that 
are based on management's current expectations and assumptions and 
involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause 
actual results, performance or events to differ materially from those 
expressed or implied in these statements. Forward-looking statements 
include, among other things, statements concerning the potential 
exposure of Royal Dutch Shell to market risks and statements expressing 
management's expectations, beliefs, estimates, forecasts, projections 
and assumptions. These forward-looking statements are identified by 
their use of terms and phrases such as "aim", "ambition", "anticipate", 
"believe", "could", "estimate", "expect", "goals", "intend", 
"may", "objectives", "outlook", "plan", "probably", 
"project", "risks", "schedule", "seek", "should", "target", 
"will" and similar terms and phrases. There are a number of factors 
that could affect the future operations of Royal Dutch Shell and could 
cause those results to differ materially from those expressed in the 
forward-looking statements included in this announcement, including 
(without limitation): (a) price fluctuations in crude oil and natural 
gas; (b) changes in demand for Shell's products; (c) currency 
fluctuations; (d) drilling and production results; (e) reserves 
estimates; (f) loss of market share and industry competition; (g) 
environmental and physical risks; (h) risks associated with the 
identification of suitable potential acquisition properties and targets, 
and successful negotiation and completion of such transactions; (i) the 
risk of doing business in developing countries and countries subject to 
international sanctions; (j) legislative, fiscal and regulatory 
developments including regulatory measures addressing climate change; 
(k) economic and financial market conditions in various countries and 
regions; (l) political risks, including the risks of expropriation and 
renegotiation of the terms of contracts with governmental entities, 
delays or advancements in the approval of projects and delays in the 
reimbursement for shared costs; (m) risks associated with the impact of 
pandemics, such as the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, and (n) changes 
in trading conditions. No assurance is provided that future dividend 
payments will match or exceed previous dividend payments. All 
forward-looking statements contained in this announcement are expressly 
qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements contained or 
referred to in this section. Readers should not place undue reliance on 
forward-looking statements. Additional risk factors that may affect 
future results are contained in Royal Dutch Shell's Form 20-F for the 
year ended December 31, 2019 (available at www.shell.com/investor and 
www.sec.gov). These risk factors also expressly qualify all 
forward-looking statements contained in this announcement and should be 
considered by the reader.  Each forward-looking statement speaks only as 
of the date of this announcement, 23 March 2020. Neither Royal Dutch 
Shell plc nor any of its subsidiaries undertake any obligation to 
publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement as a result of 
new information, future events or other information. In light of these 
risks, results could differ materially from those stated, implied or 
inferred from the forward-looking statements contained in this 
   This announcement may contain references to Shell's website. These 
references are for the readers' convenience only. Shell is not 
incorporating by reference any information posted on www.shell.com. 
   We may have used certain terms, such as resources, in this announcement 
that the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) strictly 
prohibits us from including in our filings with the SEC.  Investors are 
urged to consider closely the disclosure in our Form 20-F, File No 
1-32575, available on the SEC website www.sec.gov. 
   LEI number of Royal Dutch Shell plc: 21380068P1DRHMJ8KU70 
   Classification: Additional regulated information required to be 
disclosed under the laws of a Member State 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 23, 2020 03:15 ET (07:15 GMT)

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