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Former Shell boss Ben van Beurden’s pay package jumps to £9.7m


Former Shell boss Ben van Beurden’s pay package jumps to £9.7m

9 March 2023

Former Shell boss Ben van Beurden received a pay package of £9.7m last year, up more than 50% from 2021.

His pay was revealed in the oil and gas giant’s annual report and accounts.

Shell reported the highest annual profits in its 115-year history last year after a surge in energy prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Massive profits made by energy firms have added to pressure to tax them more as households struggle with rising energy bills.

Shell made a record $39.9bn (£32.2bn) profit in 2022, double the previous year’s total.

When its results came out in February, opposition parties said the company’s profits were “outrageous” and that the government was letting energy firms “off the hook” on taxation.

In 2021, Mr van Beurden was paid the equivalent of £6.3m – he was paid in euros because Shell had yet to move its headquarters from the Netherlands to Britain.

He was replaced on 1 January this year by Wael Sawan, the former head of Shell’s gas and renewables business.

The annual report said Mr Sawan was appointed on a salary of £1.4m, although performance-related payments can often add to the overall pay package considerably. Mr van Beurden’s salary was £1.4m in 2022.

Cost of living pressures

Inflation in the UK has been soaring, with huge increases in the cost of energy a key factor.

As prices rise across the board, putting pressure on struggling households, so oil and gas firms have been coming under political pressure.

When he was chancellor, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak brought in a 25% energy profits levy.

This was increased to 35% from January 2023 by current chancellor Jeremy Hunt, and will run until 2028.

The levy applies to profits made from extracting UK oil and gas, but not on refining, or selling petrol and diesel.

Less than 5% of Shell’s profits come from UK production.

The scheme was criticised because it allowed oil firms to claim back 91p in every pound invested, including in oil and gas. This investment allowance will be reduced from 80% to 29% from 1 January.


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