"Shell’s capitulation to activist investors will send shivers through Big Oil."

Nick Butler in the FT: “The package of announcements from Shell will send a shiver through the oil and gas industry. After years of resisting investor pressure for more immediate gratification, the company which more than any other regards itself as a social institution dedicated to the long term, has blinked. Capex is to be radically reduced.”
“Costs are to be cut with a sharp knife. $15bn of assets are to be sold – enough in themselves to form a medium sized company. And the dividend is to be increased. There is a touch of theatricality in combining a profits warning with a dividend increase but the show satisfied the immediate audience. The shares rose. For the rest of the sector, Shell’s ability to deliver in this way poses a dangerous challenge.
Underperformance is endemic across the industry. Investment always needs to be increased, the rewards are always promised for tomorrow.
….Mr van Beurden is the new hero of the market. He may not be such a hero in the eyes of his counterparts across the industry.”