Shell keeps spending constrained amid concern about buybacks

Oil supermajor Shell expects that its investment level will be around USD 24 billion in 2019. The company keeps a lid on spending amid concerns about whether it can sustain large shareholder returns.

Photo: POLFOTO/AP/Daniella Beccaria/

Royal Dutch Shell Plc expects capital expenditure to be near the lower end of the $24 billion to $29 billion range in 2019, as the company keeps a lid on spending amid concern about its ability to sustain hefty shareholder returns.

The statement on fourth-quarter earnings published on Friday comes after Shell’s previous set of bumper profits was overshadowed by a warning about the pace of share buybacks. It’s only the second time the company has issued such guidance, which was a response to criticism about the unpredictability of its financial results.

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