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Shell’s Magnanimous CEO Embarks on Heroic Journey to Shower Oil Investors with Untold Riches

Posted 13 June 2023 by John Donovan

Prepare yourselves, mere mortals, for the grand spectacle that is about to unfold! Wael Sawan, the illustrious Chief Executive Officer of Shell Plc, has set his sights on the concrete jungle of New York City, where he will engage in a valiant effort to prove to the world that his precious oil empire is shamelessly undervalued compared to its feeble American counterparts. How noble of him!

In a highly anticipated presentation scheduled for Wednesday, 13 June, Sawan will dazzle investors with a glimpse into his master plan for the company. Brace yourselves, for his vision is nothing short of awe-inspiring: to shower shareholders with bountiful returns and close the gap in valuation with the mighty giants of the industry, such as Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. Surely, this Herculean task will require nothing less than unwavering devotion and a complete disregard for the planet’s well-being.

And how, you might ask, does Sawan plan to achieve this glorious feat? By boosting dividends, of course, and turning back the hands of time to rekindle Shell’s passionate love affair with fossil fuels. It seems that the audacious dreams of America’s Big Oil future, enthusiastically championed by the ever-enlightened activist investor Dan Loeb’s Third Point LLC, have finally found their way to Shell’s doorstep. Oh, how fortunate we are to witness such enlightenment!

According to the wise oracle of JPMorgan Chase & Co., Christyan Malek, Shell must embark on a soul-searching quest to discover where they can generate those elusive “premium returns.” Ah, the next 10 years, the golden age of the oil supercycle, where Shell’s unparalleled competitive strength shall shine upon its European peers like a beacon of greed and environmental destruction. It’s truly a vision for the ages.

But wait, there’s more! Let us not forget the tantalizing topic of dividends. Once the pride and joy of Shell, these generous cash offerings once lured investors like unsuspecting flies into a web of wealth. Alas, former CEO Ben van Burden had the audacity to cut those payouts by a staggering two-thirds during the unfortunate pandemic of 2020. Fear not, for Sawan, the savior of shareholder returns, is expected to unveil his masterstroke: a dividend increase of 20%! Hallelujah! As long as oil prices remain above a paltry $50 a barrel, Shell’s budget for capital expenditures will remain untarnished. Such benevolence!

But hold on, dear readers, for the grand adventure doesn’t end there. Remember when van Beurden committed Shell to reducing its reliance on fossil fuels and achieving net-zero carbon emissions? Well, fear not, for Sawan is here to steer the ship right back to its profitable roots: oil and gas. Why, you might ask? The audacious invasion of Ukraine by Russia, of course! Thanks to Moscow’s whimsical decision to shut down its gas pipelines to Europe, a whole new market for liquefied natural gas has emerged. And who better to exploit this fortuitous turn of events than the honorable oil majors? Shell’s natural gas unit, the crown jewel of its record-breaking 2022 profits, continues to shine brightly, serving as a testament to the desperate world’s insatiable need for more gas. The earth rejoices

Oh, but there’s a twist! Under van Beurden’s reign, Shell boldly declared that its oil production had reached its peak in 2019 and would gracefully decline by 1% to 2% annually, ultimately achieving a grand reduction of up to 20% by 2030. But lo and behold, the audacious Shell surpassed even its own expectations, achieving the 20% decline ahead of schedule through divestments, such as the colossal $9.5 billion sale of U.S. Permian Basin assets to ConocoPhillips. Sawan, the voice of reason and economic stability, has already hinted that he sees no need to continue shrinking Shell’s oil and gas business. After all, who needs a healthy planet when there are consumers to exploit and an economy to please?

Lastly, let us not forget the most virtuous quality of our illustrious CEO: ruthlessness. Yes, dear readers, Sawan has made it abundantly clear that he will be ruthless in his pursuit of maximizing profits. Any project that fails to meet his lofty standards will be swiftly discarded. The gods of capitalism will be appeased, but at what cost? As investors eagerly await the unveiling of Shell’s annual capital expenditure, projected to be a modest $23 billion to $27 billion, they tremble in anticipation. Will Shell cut back on its noble investments in clean electricity, after splurging a record $3.5 billion on renewables and energy solutions? Fear not, for the great Sawan assures us that the “Powering Progress” strategy, with its convenient blend of boosting returns while superficially cutting emissions, remains the righteous path. However, we can only guess at the nuances of its execution under his glorious leadership.

In conclusion, brace yourselves, dear readers, for the saga of Shell’s new CEO unfolds before us. Witness the spectacle of greed, environmental disregard, and corporate gluttony as Sawan marches triumphantly to New York to shower oil investors with unfathomable riches. Marvel at the audacity of his vision, the ruthlessness of his decision-making, and the unwavering dedication to the noble cause of maximizing profits.

Right of Reply: Shell is invited to point out for correction any factual inaccuracies and supply closing comments for publication as part of this article on an unedited basis. 

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