Shell CEO's first changes combine upstream and LNG operations

The Royal Dutch Shell logo is seen at a Shell petrol station in London
FILE PHOTO: The Royal Dutch Shell logo is seen at a Shell petrol station in London, January 31, 2008. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo/File Photo
  • Changes could result in some job cuts, Shell says
  • Upstream boss to oversee expanded unit
  • Executive committee to shrink to seven from nine members
  • New CEO took office Jan. 1

LONDON, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Shell (SHEL.L) will combine its oil and gas production and liquefied natural gas (LNG) divisions as part of broader changes under new CEO Wael Sawan, which the company said could result in some job cuts.

The new division, which combines Shell's most profitable operations, will be headed by current upstream director Zoe Yujnovich, the company said in a statement on Monday.

Sawan took office on Jan. 1 after heading Shell's integrated gas division, which included the group's LNG and renewables businesses, with a vow to simplify and improve the company's operations.

Under the internal restructuring, renewables operations will be combined with Shell's oil refining and marketing operations led by current downstream director Huibert Vigeveno, the company said.

The overhaul will reduce the size of Shell's executive committee to seven from nine members in an effort to "simplify the organisation further and improve performance".

The changes could result in "relatively limited" job cuts across the company, a spokesperson said.

Shell last underwent a major overhaul in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, in which then-CEO Ben van Beurden cut more than 10% of the company's workforce as part of his push to steer the company towards energy transition.

"Fewer interfaces mean greater cooperation, discipline and speed, enabling us to focus on strengthening performance across the businesses and generating strong returns for our investors," Sawan said in the statement.

The changes will take effect on July 1.

Shell's strategy calls for cuts to its greenhouse gas emissions and the building of a large low-carbon business.

The company reports its 2022 full-year results on Thursday.

Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru Editing by Jason Neely and David Goodman

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Ron has covered since 2014 the world’s top oil and gas companies, focusing on their efforts to shift into renewables and low carbon energy and the sector's turmoil during the COVID-19 pandemic and following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. He has been named Reporter of the Year in 2014 and 2021 by Reuters. Before Reuters, Ron reported on equity markets in New York in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis after covering conflict and diplomacy in the Middle East for AFP out of Israel.