Royal Dutch Shell Plc (LON:RDSB) first quarter results confirmed a stronger performance boosted by better oil prices, as income attributable to shareholders was marked at US$5.7bn over a US$4bn loss in the prior three months.
Earnings (adjusted EBITDA) amounted to US$3.2bn for the period whilst cash flow from operations totalled US$8.3bn. Debt was peeled back by US$4bn, to stand at US$71.3bn at the end of March.
The oil major in transition confirmed at 17.35 cents per share, up 4% on the prior quarter.
“Shell has made a strong start to 2021, generating over US$8bn of cash in the quarter,” said chief executive Ben van Beurden.
“Our integrated business model is ideally positioned to benefit from recovering demand.”
He added: “Our competitive and robust financial performance provides the platform to achieve the goals of our Powering Progress strategy.”
Earlier this month, Shell released details of its energy transition strategy, and it is putting its proposed ‘net zero by 2050’ plan to an advisory shareholder vote.
The company, which was previously criticised for the focus on ‘consumer demand’ in its approach to decarbonisation, today highlighted that it will be the first energy company to submit its transition strategy to a shareholder vote.
It is a purely advisory vote, however, and as such management won’t be bound by the result. Shell added that it will seek to hold a similar vote every three years until 2050.
Energy transition strategy
As detailed in early April, Shell intends to invest in and scale up low-carbon energy solutions for its customers.
The plan sees Shell reduce and limit its own emissions as much as possible. The strategy aims to mitigate by capturing and offsetting any residual emissions.
Setting milestones for the coming years, out to 2030, it said it plans to eliminate routine gas flaring and aims to maintain methane emissions intensity to below 0.2% by 2025.
The strategy anticipates a 1-2% decline in crude oil production per year and it pledges that there will be no ‘new frontier’ exploration entries after 2025. Gas volumes are planned to rise up to 55% of all hydrocarbon production.
Shell wants to double the volume of renewable electricity it sells, targeting supply equating to 50mln households. It also plans to install 2.5mln electric vehicle charge points. It is targeting 25mln tonnes of carbon capture and storage by 2035.
Biofuels and hydrogen-based fuels are a component of the plan. Shell said it plans an 8x increase in the production of low-carbon fuels and sets a target for low-carbon fuel sales to represent more than 10% of all its transport fuels.