Shell blames cancelled projects and lower prices for £4bn loss

A general view of a Shell logo at a petrol station in York. Photo: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire.

A general view of a Shell logo at a petrol station in York. Photo: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire. - Credit: PA

Royal Dutch Shell has unveiled a 6.1 billion US dollar (£4 billion) loss in the third quarter as a result of cancelled projects and lower oil and gas prices.

The oil giant revealed it had taken an 8.6 billion dollar (£5.65 billion) hit to cover the cost of halting projects such as Alaskan drilling and the Carmon Creek oil sands project in Canada.

Shell CEO Ben van Beurden said: 'These are difficult, but impactful decisions. I am determined that Shell will become a more focused and competitive company as a result.'

The results mean third quarter earnings are 216% lower than the same quarter last year.

The oil giant also confirmed that its proposed £55 billion takeover of BG Group remained on track for completion in early 2016.

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Mr van Beurden claimed that deal would help Shell focus on 'fewer and more profitable themes', specifically deep water and integrated gas.

He also insisted the firm was taking the right steps in a challenging period for the oil industry.

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'Shell's integrated business and our performance drive are helping to mitigate the impact of low oil prices on the bottom line, in what is a difficult environment for the industry today.

'We continue to improve the operational performance of our assets, and production volumes are up. Costs are falling across the company and Shell's performance drive is delivering at the bottom line.'

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