Shell boss warns more job losses at the firm could “absolutely” happen

Shell CEO Ben van Beurden
Shell CEO Ben van Beurden

The boss at Royal Dutch Shell (LON: RDSB) has reportedly said further job losses could “absolutely” take place at the company.

Shell chief executive Ben van Beurden said in an interview with the Sunday Telegraph cuts were always a possibility in the absence of large deals being struck.

Shell is axing about 12,500 roles this year due to a combination of low oil prices and its takeover of BG Group.

In May, the firm said the headcount for its North Sea operations would drop by 475 to 1,700 as part of the reductions.

Shell said, however, the net number of job losses across the business in 2016 would be fewer than 5,000 as it expects to keep recruiting this year.

Commenting on the prospect of additional job losses, Mr van Beurden said: “There could be, yeah, absolutely. Much will depend on how the environment will continue to develop.

“There will always be also, in the absence of large deals, the continuous improvement drive which may result in jobs either not being required any more, or going to different parts of the globe, or general efficiencies or shutting things down.

“You can never say you are done with staff reductions.”

Mr van Beurden also reiterated Shell was mulling the sale of aging assets in the North Sea, where the company operates more than 30 platforms, but would not exit the UK altogether.

He said: “We will be looking again at what is the set of assets that we want to hold on to, where do we believe we will produce right to end of life, and where do we have a better option to sell to a better owner.”