LONDON Jan 30 Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSa.L)
has intensified its cost-cutting efforts in response to the
collapse in oil prices and also plans to step up efforts to
improve what it said was a "mixed" safety record.
Shell's head of Exploration and Production Malcolm Brinded
told employees in an email seen by Reuters that staff had to
make "tough choices".
"We simply need much higher sustainable savings this year
and I ask for real actions from all of you .... Shed contractor
staff, challenge requirements, eliminate consultancy work,
reduce travel massively, cut overheads everywhere," he said.
The E&P boss pleaded for fewer meetings and "75 percent
Brinded is seeking to simplify Shell's operations, which
have a reputation for bureaucracy, and increase standardisation
across the company -- a key strategy of Tony Hayward since his
appointment as CEO of rival BP (BP.L).
"We are still too slow in maturing our hydrocarbon resources
and advancing projects," Brinded said.
Brinded said Shell was not complacent about its 2008
performance, despite reporting a record profit for a European
company of $31.4 billion.
"Overall 2008 performance was good, with record earnings and
strong operational results, but a disappointing Total
Shell's shares have fallen around 10 percent in the past
year, compared to an almost 30 percent fall for the DJ Stoxx
European oil and gas sector index .SXEP and a more than 30
percent drop in the FTSE 100 index .FTSE.
Chief Executive Jeroen van der Veer said the company was
intensifying its efforts on safety.
"Work is well advanced on Group-wide Life-Saving Rules that
focus on situations where the risk of death or injury is the
highest. We will introduce them to all employees and contractors
in the first half of the year," he said in a separate email to
A Shell spokesman confirmed the emails were genuine.
Twenty-eight fatalities were recorded in 2008, Brinded said.
"Our safety performance was mixed."
Brinded said Shell had a "dreadful start" to this year after
10 contractors and one third party were killed in three
"The many fatalities were again a tragic reminder of the
risks of our business," he said.
Copies of the emails are available at
(Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)