By LAURA CHESTERS FOR DAILY MAIL: 3 November 2015
Royal Dutch Shell chief executive Ben van Beurden is the oil industry’s equivalent of a swan – below his calm demeanour he is furiously paddling to keep his planned £40billion mega-deal afloat.
Shell is buying rival BG Group and, to get the deal away and for it to make sense as the oil price plummets, van Beurden has taken the knife to Shell’s costs and projects.
Investors have been getting jittery as the price of oil has halved since summer 2014 and has stubbornly remained below $60 a barrel since the takeover was announced in April. Brent Crude continues to fluctuate but experts predict the price will stay ‘lower for longer’ than may have been expected.
However, van Beurden, who took on the top job last January and has a lot riding personally on the deal, promises it will still work with an oil price in the mid-$60s a barrel. Yesterday he insisted: ‘Although oil prices have fallen in 2015, the valuation case for the BG acquisition still looks compelling today for both sets of shareholders.’