Royal Dutch Shell Plc  .com Rotating Header Image

Shell Upstream Boss Malcolm Brinded: Mr Overpromise and Underdelivery



(Please note some pdf links contain multi-page docs and may take a while to download)

The Bloomberg article of September 25th seems to echo a very familiar concept from the Watts/Enron era – promises, promises and more promises. But where is the additional production promised by Brinded repeatedly over the past few years?

A remarkably prescient presentation entitled “overpromise underdelivery” was published on this site a few years ago. We seem to be repeating the process. Shell is shedding staff precisely because it does not have enough projects to justify current staffing levels. In the medium term a lack of development projects can only lead to a decline in production.

One promise (in 2004 or 2005) involved something like a 30% increase in production accompanied by a 30% decrease in costs (unfortunately the words “increase” and “decrease” were apparently transposed).

Yesterday’s highly publicized promise of a 30% increase in production by 2012 to overtake BP should perhaps be taken in the same vein.

In the Shell CFO Simon Henry presentation on 24 Sept 2009, delivered at the Deutsche Bank Oil & Gas Conference, the figures look slightly different from those advertised (see slide 21 of 25.

Unless I am very much mistaken, I see a decline in production for 2009-2010, and a slight increase back to ~2008 levels in 2011-2012, based largely on “key projects”. I see no evidence of any 30% increase for 2011-2012 (which would involve doubling the height of the bar in the bar chart).

This website and sisters,,,, and, are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia segment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Comment Rules

  • Please show respect to the opinions of others no matter how seemingly far-fetched.
  • Abusive, foul language, and/or divisive comments may be deleted without notice.
  • Each blog member is allowed limited comments, as displayed above the comment box.
  • Comments must be limited to the number of words displayed above the comment box.
  • Please limit one comment after any comment posted per post.