Shell cuts back plans to in­vest

Daily Express - - CITY& BUSINESS - By Peter Cun­liffe

ROYAL Dutch Shell yes­ter­day put on hold the ex­pan­sion of a ma­jor project in Canada be­cause of fall­ing oil prices and the global credit crunch.

It said the sec­ond phase of its Athabasca oil sands scheme in Al­berta, ex­tract­ing crude oil from bi­tu­men, would not go ahead as planned in the new year.

But de­spite the de­fer­ral, the com­pany said it re­mained on track to in­vest up to $36bil­lion (£22.5bil­lion) in the busi­ness this year.

The group re­ported third-quar­ter prof­its up 71 per cent to $10.9bil­lion, buoyed by high prices.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Jeroen van der Veer said: “We are watch­ing the world eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion very closely.

“Our strat­egy re­mains to pay com­pet­i­tive and pro­gres­sive div­i­dends, and to make sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ments in the com­pany for fu­ture prof­itabil­ity.

“We are steer­ing the Shell ship through rough wa­ters and, so far, OK.”

Out­put fell more than 6 per cent, hit by U.S. hur­ri­canes, North Sea main­te­nance and con­flict in Nige­ria.

The shares fell 70p to 1635p.

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