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In defence of Ben van Beurden

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 07.56.54An article published today by The Wall Street Journal – “Shell, Bruised by Big Bets, Warns of Profit Miss” – makes the case from the standpoint of Ben van Beurden, why he should not be blamed for the profits warning announced yesterday by Royal Dutch Shell Plc that shocked the markets.

By John Donovan

Screen Shot 2014-01-19 at 08.18.10Shell crushed by out of control elephants?

An article published today by The Wall Street Journal – Shell, Bruised by Big Bets, Warns of Profit Miss – makes the case  from the standpoint of Ben van Beurden, why he should not be blamed for the profits warning announced yesterday by Royal Dutch Shell Plc that shocked the markets.

Apparently he warned that Shell should be cautious in relation to multibillion dollar elephant projects, which were pushed by Jeroen van der Veer, the first Chief Executive of Royal Dutch Shell Plc. BvB claims that he had no say over investments in EP projects and “questioned if it made sense for Shell to bet so heavily on ‘big-ticket’ projects”.

He is also said to be one of the senior executives who decided to abandon plans for a $20 billion gas-to-liquids plant in Louisiana.

On Friday,  Shell gave variety of excuses, with no elephants in the room.

Extracts from Daily Mail article.

Shell blamed a string of factors including maintenance shutdowns in particularly high margin businesses such as liquid natural gas and a general decline in oil prices.”

It also pointed to an increase in the cost of oil exploration, difficult conditions for oil refining and the weak Australian dollar.

Other setbacks include continued losses in Shell’s North American production operations and the security situation in Nigeria, where pipelines have been shut due to vandalism and oil theft.

The Wall Street Journal article by Justin Scheck is well worth reading.

RELATED:

A bad start for Shell CEO Ben van Beurden

Sell Shell And Oil Majors: Shell forecast disastrous earnings on January 17th. Forbes captured investor sentiment in the catchy title of an excellent article “What The Hell, Shell? Oil Giant Warns On Disasterous Quarter“.

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