Royal Dutch Shell's shale unit to become "catalyst for change" at the oil major

Jessica Morris
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Shell Holds Annual General Meeting In London
Shell's unconventional division slashed costs and streamlined decision-making (Source: Getty)

Royal Dutch Shell's recently revamped shale unit is set to become a blueprint for change across the oil major.

"The executive committee charged us to be a catalyst for change within the broader Shell," Greg Guidry, head of the group's unconventionals business, told Reuters.

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Guidry also revealed plans to make a small acquisitions near Shell's existing North American shale areas, where producers are folding due to low oil prices.

It follows a drive to slash costs and streamline decision-making. This put the division largely on a par with leading rivals for productivity as well as efficiency.

It's somewhat of a u-turn from late last year, when Shell's chief executive, Ben Van Beurden, thought about splicing off the unconventionals arm amid concerns it would hit the group's balance sheet following the $54bn acquisition of BG Group.

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Shell recently revealed it had earmarked 10 per cent of its oil and gas production assets for sale, which would result in the oil giant exiting between five and 10 countries.

It also announced that it would aim to keep its capital investment between $25bn and $30bn per year until 2020.

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