"For the first 90 years of Shell's existence... we were the industry leader in total shareholder return. But we lost the lead in the 1990s," said the 58-year-old Dutchman, who was appointed in early 2014. "I am determined to get us back to that number one position".
After acquiring the BG Group in February, Royal Dutch Shell is further streamlining its business for the future. The world’s second largest international oil company plans to increase cost savings to $4.5 billion following its $54 billion acquisition of BG Group which Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden said will make it the best oil company investment, ahead of Exxon Mobil.
In order to achieve that the company plans to cut 12,500 jobs this year and exit oil and gas operations in up to 10 countries. Always known for their broad portfolio this streamlining signals a deepening uncertainty about how and when the crude oil market will break from its persistent slump.
“The pivot also reflects Shell’s broader attempt to adapt the company to an era of higher oil price volatility, geopolitical changes and the growing global commitment to transition energy systems to lower-carbon fuels”, Van Beurden said.
Savings and asset sales could increase returns on capital employed to shareholders to about 10% by the end of the decade, assuming an oil price of US$60 a barrel, up from about 8% between 2013 and 2015. It has also announced it plans to implement a share buyback program.
“Our strategy should lead to a simpler company, with fundamentally advantaged positions, and fundamentally lower capital intensity,” said Mr Van Beurden. “Today, we are setting out a transformation of Shell”.
Shell’s new strategy seems primarily as an attempt to assure investors that it can manage the debt from the takeover, even as low oil prices continue to batter corporate earnings and threaten tens of thousands of jobs across the industry. Shell’s earnings plunged over 80% in the first quarter to $800 million, compared with $4.8 billion for the same quarter in 2015.
Shell have obviously done their homework, and with the best analysts in the business no doubt. So their new strategy, which assumes oil prices will average only in the mid-$60s in 2018, will be a concern for the sector as a whole. The strategy serves as perhaps the strongest sign yet that oil price recovery will be slow and history is more likely to tell the story of the crazy 2014 spike than talking about the current period as an unusual slump.
On the ground meanwhile, Shell employees and the service companies they work with will be assessing their futures with apprehension. While no specific countries have been named for Shell’s asset sell-off, experts have highlighted OPEC new boy Gabon as first in the firing line. In contrast, refining hubs, such as Singapore, are unlikely to be impacted significantly.
The oil and gas sector, and the world at large, will be keeping a close eye on this developing story to predict the uncertain future in this new era of fossil fuel production.
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Oil and gas sector is one of the most lucrative sectors for job seekers from industries all over the world. It offers great salaries and benefits packages and an opportunity to travel and work overseas. Due to its high demand, scammers are preying on the vulnerable oil and gas workers. To ensure you don’t fall prey to their mischievous tactics, we would recommend reading our guideline below:
How does scamming occur?
The scammer poses as an employer or recruiter of an oil and gas company or he may claim to be an employee or recruiter for a job consultancy firm catering to the oil and gas industry. They offer irresistible employment opportunities and often demand money in advance to conduct further processes. Money is often demanded on the pretext of work visas, travel expenses, background or credit checks that the job requires.
What do scammers want from you?
It is important to understand what the scammer's agenda is so that it helps you shield yourself from getting conned:
To extract money: On the pretext of getting you a job in the energy sector employing any of the tactics mentioned above
For identity theft: scammers look for valid identity of people and ask for confidential personal details including bank details to commit fraud through your name or to withdraw money from your account.
Whatever be their modus operandi, their goal is to either separate you from your cash or accomplish an identity theft. The bigger problem is, the scammers are getting better at their game and coming up with innovative ideas to lure innocent job seekers. In oil and gas industry, the scammers are targeting the job seekers from overseas, immigrants or contractors as they feel it is easier to attract them on the pretext of work permits, high salaries, paid travel, better lifestyle in the first world countries.
How to spot a job scam and keep yourself secure?
There is always a difference between real and fake, all you need to do is be watchful to notice the underlying discrepancies. There is a pattern that scammers usually follows, which is discussed below. Make sure you watch out for these red flags when you receive any job offer next time:
Free email provider - No legitimate hiring agency or company will use the services of free email provider like Gmail, Hotmail, or Yahoo. So, if you are receiving an email or have been requested to share your details on emails that use free email services, then be extremely cautious. The scammers try to trick the job seekers by using an email address that looks authentic for instance: [email protected]. It is important to notice here that the ‘xyz’ part of the email ID is usually a gmail, yahoo, etc. which is a free email address. A legitimate job provider would never use.
Fake or new company name - If company name or oil and gas recruitment agency name is mentioned along with the free email id, then do a quick search on the company. Verify its existence and contact them via official email address and contact numbers mentioned on the website. Check their social media presence too. If the website and social media page look new while the company claims to be in business for a substantial amount of time, know for sure that there is something fishy.
Bad grammar and confusing job details - The scammers usually do not pay much attention to structure the mail. You can spot grammatical errors and even the job descriptions are not explained well or is completely different than your skillset and experience. Any authentic mail from a company or oil and gas recruitment agency will ensure an error-free, concise, and clear communication
Fee to conduct a job interview - No legitimate oil and gas company or recruitment agency will ever ask for money to conduct a job interview or to apply to job positions. If the mail says, the money will be refunded once you appear for a job interview, then please do not trust such claims as it is always bogus.
Asking for confidential personal information - Anyone asking for information that you will never put on CV, is a warning sign. It includes your bank details, passport copy, identity cards, your current residential details and so on. No genuine company will ever ask for such details before you sign the offer letter. If by chance, you have shared your bank details or another confidential detail to the scammer, contact your bank and email service provider and register a complaint against it.
Unknown source - There are countries who have strict spam rules and until you subscribe or give consent to the company, they cannot send you emails. So, if you receive an email from a company you haven’t contacted or have not applied for jobs, then be cautious it might be a scam.
The principle on which scammers operate is “Too good to be true”. Don’t entertain any job offer that offers a position, you are not qualified for or offers a salary which is unrealistically high. In the oil and gas sector, be careful not to reveal your passport/work visa details to the scammer. Remember, if you find anything which is way beyond the realistic expectations, then trust your instincts and drop the offer and do not respond.
See our infographic below for a quick summarized glance -
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Searching for the right talent is often a tedious chore for the HR. However, with technological improvements, the usage of app-based recruitment has increased manifold. Recruiters and job seekers are increasingly adopting this new method. A mobile application simplifies the labor-intensive and time-consuming recruitment task and comes loaded with features that help to automate the recruitment cycle. For all the good, app-based approach can do, it still comes under fire from the critics. Here's our take on the pros & cons of App-based talent search.