ABU DHABI, 4th February 2016 (WAM) — Royal Dutch Shell has reported an 80% plunge in profits and warned that an extended oil price downturn could see more cutbacks in the group which has already slashed thousands of jobs.
Earnings for 2015 fell to GBP2.6bn (US$3.8bn) from GBP13.1bn (US$19bn) the year before. Shell has seen the price of Brent crude drop by three quarters over the last 18 months, British broadcaster Sky News reported.
The results come just days after rival British Petroleum slumped to a GBP3.6bn (US$5.2bn) annual loss.
Shell is pressing ahead with a GBP36bn (US$52bn) merger with exploration group BG. It has said 10,000 jobs will go across the two firms as a result. The deal has been approved by shareholders and will complete later this month.
The industry has been hammered by the collapse in the world energy market which has seen the price of a barrel of Brent crude dive from $115 in the summer of 2014 to around $30 at the start of this year.
Chief Executive Ben van Beurden said that Shell was undergoing “substantial changes”, slashing costs and investment in response to the slump, and added, “Shell will take further impactful decisions to manage through the oil price downturn, should conditions warrant that.”
The company cut back on investments in 2015 and is this year pulling out of a project in Abu Dhabi as well as postponing decisions on work in Canada and Nigeria.