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Shell Resumes All-cash Dividend as Oil Price Recovers

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  • Shell Resumes All-cash Dividend as Oil Price Recovers

Royal Dutch Shell on Tuesday announced plans to resume all-cash shareholder dividends, as group profitability improves thanks to recovering oil prices and cost-cutting.

The announcement to scrap the three-year-old scrip dividend programme, that saw payments made in cash and shares, was made alongside news that the Anglo-Dutch group has raised its cash flow outlook and a target for reducing Shell’s carbon footprint.

It meanwhile confirmed a share buy-back programme of at least $25bn (21 billion euros) through to 2020, subject to its progress with reducing debt and further recovery in oil prices.

Shell said in a statement that “the strength of its balance sheet, coupled with stronger cash flow and a relentless focus on capital efficiency, discipline and flexibility, have given the company the confidence to cancel the scrip dividend programme”.

It meanwhile raised its annual cash flow to between $25bn and $30bn, up $5.0bn.

Shell’s chief executive “Ben van Beurden has delivered an early Christmas present for Shell shareholders”, noted Nicholas Hyett, equity analyst at stockbroker Hargreaves Lansdown.

“Improved cash generation has allowed the group to scrap the scrip dividend, with the debt position improving steadily as well. The extra shares issued under the scrip are set to be swept back up by a $25-billion share buyback over the next three years.”

Shares in Shell rallied more than three percent as investors welcomed the news, helping to guide the London stock market higher.

Shell and its rivals are benefitting from a recovery in oil prices, with Brent North Sea crude recently hitting a two-year high above $60 per barrel.

The company is meanwhile set to benefit from a controversial decision by the Dutch government to scrap a tax on dividends to help retain and promote foreign investment in The Netherlands.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has cited Brexit as one of the most important reasons for the country to remain an attractive place of business for foreign companies and shareholders — and has proposed to axe the 15-percent tax.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has cited Brexit as one of the most important reasons for the country to remain an attractive place of business for foreign companies and shareholders — and has proposed to axe the 15-percent tax.

But Rutte and his four-party coalition government have come under fire from opposition parties for deciding to cancel the dividend tax in 2019.

AFP

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Crude Oil

Oil Prices Slide as U.S. Crude Stockpiles Surge, Heightening Demand Concerns

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Oil prices declined on Thursday as concerns over demand intensified due to a larger-than-anticipated build in U.S. crude stockpiles.

Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, dropped by 0.5% to $83.25 a barrel while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell by 0.3% to $78.28 a barrel.

The Energy Information Administration’s report revealed a substantial increase in U.S. crude oil stockpiles by 4.2 million barrels to 447.2 million barrels for the week ending February 23rd.

This surge surpassed analysts’ expectations and marked the fifth consecutive week of rising inventories.

While gasoline and distillate inventories witnessed a decline, concerns regarding a sluggish economy and reduced oil demand in the U.S. were amplified.

Satoru Yoshida, a commodity analyst with Rakuten Securities, highlighted that the significant stockpiles have heightened investor worries.

Moreover, the anticipation of delayed U.S. interest rate cuts further weighed on market sentiment, potentially undermining oil demand.

Traders have adjusted their expectations for rate cuts, with an easing cycle predicted to commence in June rather than March as previously anticipated.

Market participants await the U.S. personal consumption expenditures price index for insights into inflation trends, while the possibility of an extension of voluntary oil output cuts from OPEC+ looms over price dynamics, amid lingering uncertainty in the demand outlook and geopolitical tensions in the Middle East.

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Crude Oil

Crude Oil Shortage Threatens Dangote, Government Refineries, Minister Raises Alarm

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Dangote Refinery

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Heineken Lokpobiri, has sounded a clarion call over a looming crude oil shortage that threatens the operations of the newly inaugurated Dangote Petrochemical Refinery and government-owned refineries in Nigeria.

Addressing stakeholders at the seventh edition of the Nigeria International Energy Summit in Abuja, Minister Lokpobiri expressed concerns that unless deliberate efforts are made to increase investments and crude oil production, these refineries may struggle to obtain enough feedstock for petroleum product manufacturing.

The Dangote refinery, a colossal project spearheaded by Dangote Industries Limited, has a daily requirement of up to 650,000 barrels of crude oil, while government-owned refineries could need approximately 400,000 barrels.

However, the current pace of crude oil production and investment in Nigeria falls short of meeting these demands.

Minister Lokpobiri highlighted the need to ramp up production and attract investments in the upstream sector to ensure adequate feedstock supply for the refineries.

He emphasized the importance of efficiently utilizing Nigeria’s abundant oil and gas reserves to enhance domestic energy security and economic prosperity.

Furthermore, the minister underscored the significance of investing in energy infrastructure and transitioning towards more environmentally friendly practices to address Nigeria’s energy needs effectively.

The alarm raised by Minister Lokpobiri underscores the urgency for strategic interventions and collaborative efforts to mitigate the impending crude oil shortage and secure the future of Nigeria’s refining industry amidst evolving global energy dynamics.

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Energy

NNPCL Pledges End to Nigeria’s Energy Scarcity Within a Decade

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Mele Kyari - Investors King

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has announced a bold initiative aimed at ending Nigeria’s persistent energy scarcity within the next decade.

Mele Kyari, the Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPCL, revealed this ambitious plan during the opening ceremony of the seventh Nigerian International Energy Summit in Abuja.

Kyari’s announcement comes as a beacon of hope for millions of Nigerians grappling with chronic power shortages and energy deficiencies.

In his statement, Kyari expressed confidence that all issues related to energy scarcity in the country would be resolved within the next 10 years.

Assuring stakeholders of NNPCL’s unwavering commitment, Kyari emphasized the company’s dedication to collaborating with partners to bridge the energy deficit gap and foster prosperity for all Nigerians.

He highlighted NNPCL’s pivotal role as a key partner to oil-producing companies in Nigeria, facilitating the divestment of international oil companies from onshore and shallow water assets in the country.

Furthermore, Kyari underscored NNPCL’s statutory mandate as the enabler of national energy security, emphasizing the importance of sustainable production from divested assets to ensure energy security for Nigerians.

In addition to addressing domestic energy challenges, NNPCL is also exploring avenues for sustainable energy investment across Africa.

Kyari revealed the company’s intention to invest in the proposed African Energy Bank, aiming to secure funding for energy projects on the continent and guarantee regional energy security.

The event, attended by prominent stakeholders including government officials and representatives from international organizations, marks a significant step towards reshaping Nigeria’s energy landscape and fostering economic development through improved energy access.

As NNPCL charts its course towards energy abundance, Nigerians remain cautiously optimistic about the prospects of a brighter energy future.

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