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UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
Form 20-F
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d)
OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019
Commission file number 001-32575
Royal Dutch Shell plc
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
England and Wales
(Jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)
Carel van Bylandtlaan 30, 2596 HR, The Hague, The Netherlands
Tel. no: 011 31 70 377 9111
royaldutchshell.shareholders@shell.com
(Address of principal executive offices)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act
Title of Each Class
Trading Symbols
Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered
American Depositary Shares representing two A ordinary shares
of the issuer with a nominal value of €0.07 each
RDS.A
New York Stock Exchange
American Depositary Shares representing two B ordinary shares
of the issuer with a nominal value of €0.07 each
RDS.B
New York Stock Exchange
2.125% Guaranteed Notes due 2020
RDS/20A
New York Stock Exchange
2.25% Guaranteed Notes due 2020
RDS.A/20
New York Stock Exchange
4.375% Guaranteed Notes due 2020
RDS/20
New York Stock Exchange
Floating Rate Guaranteed Notes due 2020
RDS/20B
New York Stock Exchange
1.75% Guaranteed Notes due 2021
RDS/21
New York Stock Exchange
1.875% Guaranteed Notes due 2021
RDS.A/21
New York Stock Exchange
2.375% Guaranteed Notes due 2022
RDS/22
New York Stock Exchange
2.25% Guaranteed Notes due 2023
RDS/23
New York Stock Exchange
3.4% Guaranteed Notes due 2023
RDS/223A
New York Stock Exchange
3.5% Guaranteed Notes due 2023
RDS.A/23
New York Stock Exchange
Floating Rate Guaranteed Notes due 2023
RDS.A/23A
New York Stock Exchange
2% Guaranteed Notes due 2024
RDS.A/24
New York Stock Exchange
3.25% Guaranteed Notes due 2025
RDS/25
New York Stock Exchange
2.5% Guaranteed Notes due 2026
RDS/26
New York Stock Exchange
2.875% Guaranteed Notes due 2026
RDS.A/26
New York Stock Exchange
3.875% Guaranteed Notes due 2028
RDS.A/28
New York Stock Exchange
2.375% Guaranteed Notes due 2029
RDS.A/29
New York Stock Exchange
4.125% Guaranteed Notes due 2035
RDS/35
New York Stock Exchange
6.375% Guaranteed Notes due 2038
RDS.A/38
New York Stock Exchange
5.5% Guaranteed Notes due 2040
RDS/40
New York Stock Exchange
3.625% Guaranteed Notes due 2042
RDS/42
New York Stock Exchange
4.55% Guaranteed Notes due 2043
RDS/43
New York Stock Exchange
4.375% Guaranteed Notes due 2045
RDS/45
New York Stock Exchange
3.75% Guaranteed Notes due 2046
RDS/46
New York Stock Exchange
4.00% Guaranteed Notes due 2046
RDS.A/46
New York Stock Exchange
3.125% Guaranteed Notes due 2049
RDS.A/49
New York Stock Exchange
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: none
Securities for which there is a reporting obligation pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Act: none
Indicate the number of outstanding shares of each of the issuer’s classes of capital or common stock as of the close of the period covered by the annual report.
Outstanding as of December 31, 2019:
4,151,787,517 A ordinary shares with a nominal value of €0.07 each.
3,729,407,107 B ordinary shares with a nominal value of €0.07 each.
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.
þ
Yes
No
If this report is an annual or transition report, indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
Yes
þ
No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.
þ
Yes
No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).
þ
Yes
No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or an emerging growth company.
See definition of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
 
Large accelerated filer
þ
Accelerated filer
Non-accelerated filer
 
 
 
 
 
 
Emerging growth company
 
If an emerging growth company that prepares its financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards† provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.
 
 
† The term “new or revised financial accounting standards” refers to any update issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board to its Accounting Standards Codification after April 5, 2012.
Indicate by check mark which basis of accounting the registrant has used to prepare the financial statements included in this filing:
 
 
U.S. GAAP
 
International Financial Reporting Standards as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board.
þ
 
Other
 
If “Other” has been checked in response to the previous question, indicate by check mark which financial statement item the registrant has elected to follow.
Item 17
 
Item 18 
 
If this is an annual report, indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).
 
Yes
 
þ
No
Copies of notices and communications from the Securities and Exchange Commission should be sent to:
Royal Dutch Shell plc
Carel van Bylandtlaan 30
2596 HR, The Hague, The Netherlands
Attn: Linda M. Coulter





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Cross reference to Form 20-F
 
 
Part I
 
 
Pages

Item 1.
Identity of Directors, Senior Management and Advisers
N/A

Item 2.
Offer Statistics and Expected Timetable
N/A

Item 3.
Key Information
 
 
A.
Selected financial data
8, 214-215

 
B.
Capitalization and indebtedness
N/A

 
C.
Reasons for the offer and use of proceeds
N/A

 
D.
Risk factors
11-15

Item 4.
Information on the Company
 
 
A.
History and development of the company
6, 7, 9, 10, 18-19, 22-33, 43-46, 50-54, 213, 219-220

 
B.
Business overview
7-19, 22-50, 55-58, 189-206, 218

 
C.
Organizational structure
9-10, Exhibit 8.1

 
D.
Property, plants and equipment
9-10, 11-15, 18-19, 22-50, 55-58, 189-206

Item 4A.
Unresolved Staff Comments
N/A

Item 5.
Operating and Financial Review and Prospects
 
 
A.
Operating results
11-15, 18-50, 176-181

 
B.
Liquidity and capital resources
10, 11, 18-19, 22-23, 28-29, 43-44, 50-54, 153-156, 166-170, 173-181

 
C.
Research and development, patents and licences, etc.
10

 
D.
Trend information
10, 11-15, 16-21, 22-25, 28-33, 43-46, 50-65,

 
E.
Off-balance sheet arrangements
53

 
F.
Tabular disclosure of contractual obligations
53

 
G.
Safe harbor
5-6

Item 6.
Directors, Senior Management and Employees
 
 
A.
Directors and senior management
68-74, 127-130

 
B.
Compensation
102-115, 187

 
C.
Board practices
68-74, 75-115, 119-123, 126-129, 130-131

 
D.
Employees
66, 187

 
E.
Share ownership
67, 98-123, 130, 182-183, 213

Item 7.
Major Shareholders and Related Party Transactions
 
 
A.
Major shareholders
214

 
B.
Related party transactions
126-127, 152, 165, 187, 213

 
C.
Interests of experts and counsel
N/A

Item 8.
Financial Information
 
 
A.
Consolidated Statements and Other Financial Information
51-54, 138-188, 207-212

 
B.
Significant Changes
127, 188

Item 9.
The Offer and Listing
 
 
A.
Offer and listing details
213

 
B.
Plan of distribution
N/A

 
C.
Markets
213

 
D.
Selling shareholders
N/A

 
E.
Dilution
N/A

 
F.
Expenses of the issue
N/A

Item 10.
Additional Information
 
 
A.
Share capital
N/A

 
B.
Memorandum and articles of association
131-136

 
C.
Material contracts
N/A

 
D.
Exchange controls
216

 
E.
Taxation
216-217

 
F.
Dividends and paying agents
N/A

 
G.
Statement by experts
N/A


INTRODUCTION SHELL FORM 20-F 2019
02
 



 
H.
Documents on display
6

 
I.
Subsidiary Information
N/A

Item 11.
Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk
51, 166, 177-181

Item 12.
Description of Securities Other than Equity Securities
 
 
A.
Debt Securities
Exhibit 2.3

 
B.
Warrants and Rights
N/A

 
C.
Other Securities
N/A

 
D.
American Depositary Shares
213, 215-216, Exhibit 2.3

 
 
 
 
Part II
 
 
 
Item 13.
 
Defaults, Dividend Arrearages and Delinquencies
N/A

Item 14.
 
Material Modifications to the Rights of Security Holders and Use of Proceeds
N/A

Item 15.
 
Controls and Procedures
128-130, 141, 207-208, Exhibits 12.1 & 12.2

Item 16.
 
[Reserved]
 
Item 16A.
 
Audit committee financial expert
92, 130

Item 16B.
 
Code of Ethics
127

Item 16C.
 
Principal Accountant Fees and Services
96, 188, 212

Item 16D.
 
Exemptions from the Listing Standards for Audit Committees
130

Item 16E.
 
Purchases of Equity Securities by the Issuer and Affiliated Purchasers
53, 126

Item 16F.
 
Change in Registrant’s Certifying Accountant
N/A

Item 16G.
 
Corporate Governance
127, 130-131

Item 16H.
 
Mine Safety Disclosure
N/A

 
 
 
 
Part III
 
 
 
Item 17.
 
Financial Statements
N/A

Item 18.
 
Financial Statements
138-188, 207-212

Item 19.
 
Exhibits
221



INTRODUCTION SHELL FORM 20-F 2019
03
 



Terms and abbreviations
 
 
 
Currencies
$
US dollar
euro
£
sterling
Units of measurement
acre
approximately 0.004 square kilometres
b(/d)
barrels (per day)
boe(/d)
barrels of oil equivalent (per day); natural gas volumes are converted into oil equivalent using a factor of 5,800 scf per barrel
kboe(/d)
thousand barrels of oil equivalent (per day); natural gas volumes are converted into oil equivalent using a factor of 5,800 scf per barrel
MMBtu
million British thermal units
megajoule
a unit of energy equal to one million joules
mtpa
million tonnes per annum
per day
volumes are converted into a daily basis using a calendar year
scf(/d)
standard cubic feet (per day)
Products
GTL
gas to liquids
LNG
liquefied natural gas
LPG
liquefied petroleum gas
NGL
natural gas liquids
 
 
Miscellaneous
ADS
American Depositary Share
AGM
Annual General Meeting
API
American Petroleum Institute
CCS
carbon capture and storage
CCS earnings
earnings on a current cost of supplies basis
CO2
carbon dioxide
EMTN
Euro medium-term note
EPS
earnings per share
FCF
free cash flow
FID
final investment decision
GAAP
generally accepted accounting principles
GHG
greenhouse gas
HSSE
health, safety, security and environment
IAS
International Accounting Standard
IEA
International Energy Agency
IFRS
International Financial Reporting Standard(s)
IOGP
International Association of Oil & Gas Producers
IPIECA
International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association (global oil and gas industry association for environmental and social issues)
LTIP
Long-term Incentive Plan
OECD
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
OML
oil mining lease
OPEC
Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries
OPL
oil prospecting licence
PSC
production-sharing contract
PSP
Performance Share Plan
REMCO
Remuneration Committee
SEC
US Securities and Exchange Commission
TRCF
total recordable case frequency
TSR
total shareholder return
WTI
West Texas Intermediate

INTRODUCTION SHELL FORM 20-F 2019
04
 



About this Report
 
 
This Form 20-F as filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended December 31, 2019 (this Report) presents the Consolidated Financial Statements of Royal Dutch Shell plc (the Company) and its subsidiaries (collectively referred to as Shell) (pages 142-189) and the Financial Statements of the Royal Dutch Shell Dividend Access Trust (pages 209-211). Except for these Financial Statements, the numbers presented throughout this Report may not sum precisely to the totals provided and percentages may not precisely reflect the absolute figures due to rounding. Cross references to Form 20-F are set out on pages 2-3 of this Report.

The financial statements contained in this Report have been prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) as issued by the IASB. IFRS as defined above includes interpretations issued by the IFRS Interpretations Committee. Financial reporting terms used in this Report are in accordance with IFRS.

This Report contains certain following forward-looking non-GAAP measures such as cash capital expenditure and divestments. We are unable to provide a reconciliation of these forward-looking Non-GAAP measures to the most comparable GAAP financial measures because certain information needed to reconcile those Non-GAAP measures to the most comparable GAAP financial measures is dependent on future events some of which are outside the control of the company, such as oil and gas prices, interest rates and exchange rates. Moreover, estimating such GAAP measures with the required precision necessary to provide a meaningful reconciliation is extremely difficult and could not be accomplished without unreasonable effort. Non-GAAP measures in respect of future periods which cannot be reconciled to the most comparable GAAP financial measure are calculated in a manner which is consistent with the accounting policies applied in Royal Dutch Shell plc’s financial statements.

The companies in which Royal Dutch Shell plc directly or indirectly own investments are separate legal entities. In addition to the term “Shell”, in this Report “Shell Group”, “we”, “us” and “our” are also used to refer to the Company and its subsidiaries in general or to those who work for them. These terms are also used where no useful purpose is served by identifying the particular entity or entities. “Subsidiaries” and “Shell subsidiaries” refer to those entities over which the Company has control, either directly or indirectly. Entities and unincorporated arrangements over which Shell has joint control are generally referred to as “joint ventures” and “joint operations”, respectively. “Joint ventures” and “joint operations” are collectively referred to as “joint arrangements”. Entities over which Shell has significant influence but neither control nor joint control are referred to as “associates”. The term “Shell interest” is used for convenience to indicate the direct and/or indirect ownership interest held by Shell in an entity or unincorporated joint arrangement, after exclusion of all third party interest. Shell subsidiaries’ data include their interests in joint operations.

It is important to note that Shell’s existing portfolio has been decades in development. While we believe our portfolio is resilient under a wide range of outlooks, including the IEA’s 450 scenario (World Energy Outlook 2016), it includes assets across a spectrum of energy intensities including some with above-average intensity. While we seek to enhance our operations’ average energy intensity through both the development of new projects and divestments, we have no immediate plans to move to a net-zero emissions portfolio over our investment horizon of 10-20 years. Although we have no immediate plans to move to a net-zero emissions portfolio, in November of 2017, we announced our ambition to reduce our Net Carbon Footprint in step with society’s progress towards the Paris Agreement’s goal of holding the rise in global average temperatures this century to well below 2°C above pre‑industrial levels. Accordingly, assuming society aligns itself with the Paris Agreement’s goals, we aim to reduce our Net Carbon Footprint, which includes not only our direct and indirect carbon emissions, associated with producing the energy products which we sell, but also our customers’ emissions from their use of the energy products that we sell, by around 20% in 2035 and by around 50% in 2050.

Shell’s “Net Carbon Footprint” referred to in this Report includes Shell’s carbon emissions from the production of our energy products, our suppliers’
 
carbon emissions in supplying energy for that production, and our customers’ carbon emissions associated with their use of the energy products we sell. Shell only controls its own emissions but, to support society in achieving the Paris Agreement goals, we aim to help such suppliers and consumers to likewise lower their emissions. The use of the term Net Carbon Footprint” is for convenience only and not intended to suggest these emissions are those of Shell or its subsidiaries.

Except where indicated, the figures shown in the tables in this Report are in respect of subsidiaries only, without deduction of any non-controlling interest. However, the term “Shell share” is used for convenience to refer to the volumes of hydrocarbons that are produced, processed or sold through subsidiaries, joint ventures and associates. All of a subsidiary’s production, processing or sales volumes (including the share of joint operations) are included in the Shell share, even if Shell owns less than 100% of the subsidiary. In the case of joint ventures and associates, however, Shell-share figures are limited only to Shell’s entitlement. In all cases, royalty payments in kind are deducted from the Shell share.

Except where indicated, the figures shown in this Report are stated in US dollars. As used herein all references to “dollars” or “$” are to the US currency.

This Report contains forward-looking statements (within the meaning of the US Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995) concerning the financial condition, results of operations and businesses of Shell. All statements other than statements of historical fact are, or may be deemed to be, forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are statements of future expectations that are based on management’s current expectations and assumptions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied in these statements. Forward-looking statements include, among other things, statements concerning the potential exposure of Shell to market risks and statements expressing management’s expectations, beliefs, estimates, forecasts, projections and assumptions. These forward-looking statements are identified by their use of terms and phrases such as “aim”, “ambition”, “anticipate”, “believe”, “could”, “estimate”, “expect”, “goals”, “intend”, “may”, “objectives”, “outlook”, “plan”, “probably”, “project”, “risks”, “schedule”, “seek”, “should”, “target”, “will” and similar terms and phrases. There are a number of factors that could affect the future operations of Shell and could cause those results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements included in this Report, including (without limitation): (a) price fluctuations in crude oil and natural gas; (b) changes in demand for Shell’s products; (c) currency fluctuations; (d) drilling and production results; (e) reserves estimates; (f) loss of market share and industry competition; (g) environmental and physical risks; (h) risks associated with the identification of suitable potential acquisition properties and targets, and successful negotiation and completion of such transactions; (i) the risk of doing business in developing countries and countries subject to international sanctions; (j) legislative, fiscal and regulatory developments including regulatory measures addressing climate change; (k) economic and financial market conditions in various countries and regions; (l) political risks, including the risks of expropriation and renegotiation of the terms of contracts with governmental entities, delays or advancements in the approval of projects and delays in the reimbursement for shared costs; and (m) changes in trading conditions. Also see “Risk factors” on pages 11-15 for additional risks and further discussion. No assurance is provided that future dividend payments will match or exceed previous dividend payments. All forward-looking statements contained in this Report are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements contained or referred to in this section. Readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Each forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date of this Report. Neither the Company nor any of its subsidiaries undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement as a result of new information, future events or other information. In light of these risks, results could differ materially from those stated, implied or inferred from the forward-looking statements contained in this Report.


INTRODUCTION SHELL FORM 20-F 2019
05
 



This Report contains references to Shell’s website, the Shell Sustainability Report, Tax Contribution Report, Shell Industry Association Report and our report on Payments to Governments. These references are for the readers’ convenience only. Shell is not incorporating by reference any information posted on www.shell.com or in the Shell Sustainability Report, Tax Contribution Report, Shell Industry Association Report and our report on Payments to Government.

Shell V-Power and Shell LiveWire are Shell trademarks.

DOCUMENTS ON DISPLAY
The SEC maintains an Internet site that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC. All of the SEC filings made electronically by Shell are available to the public on the SEC website at www.sec.gov (commission file number 001-32575).

This Report is also available, free of charge, at www.shell.com/investors/financial-reporting/sec-filings or at the offices of Shell in The Hague, the Netherlands and London, United Kingdom. Copies of this Report also may be obtained, free of charge, by mail.

 


INTRODUCTION SHELL FORM 20-F 2019
06
 



Strategic Report
Strategy and outlook
 
 
STRATEGY
Shell’s purpose is to power progress together by providing more and cleaner energy solutions. Our strategy is to strengthen our position as a leading energy company by providing oil, gas and low-carbon energy products and services as the world’s energy system transforms. Safety and social responsibility are fundamental to our business approach. Shell will only succeed by working collaboratively with customers, governments, investors, business partners and other stakeholders.

Our strategy is founded on our outlook for the energy sector and the chance to grasp the opportunities arising from the substantial changes in the world around us. The rising standard of living of a growing global population is likely to continue to drive demand for energy for years to come. The world will need to find a way to meet this growing demand, while transitioning to a lower-carbon energy system to counter climate change. While liquid and gaseous fuels, including biofuels and hydrogen, will continue to be an important part of the energy mix, over time electricity needs to play a bigger part in the world if it is to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. Technological advances and the need to tackle climate change mean there is a transition under way to a lower-carbon, multi-source energy system with increasing customer choice. We recognise that the pace and the path forward are uncertain and so require agile decision-making.

STRATEGIC AMBITIONS

Against this backdrop, we have the following strategic ambitions to guide us in pursuing our purpose:

to thrive in the energy transition by responding to society’s desire for more and cleaner, convenient and competitive energy;
to provide a world-class investment case. This involves growing organic free cash flow and increasing returns, all built upon a strong financial framework and resilient portfolio; and
to sustain a strong societal licence to operate and make a positive contribution to society through our activities.

The execution of our strategy is founded on becoming a more customer-centric and simpler, more streamlined organisation, focused on growing returns and organic free cash flow. By investing in competitive projects, delivering increases in cash flow from operations, and driving down costs, we are continually reshaping our portfolio to become a more resilient and focused company.

Our ability to achieve our strategic ambitions depends on how we respond to competitive forces. We continually assess the external environment - the markets and the underlying economic, political, social and environmental drivers that shape them - to evaluate changes in competitive forces and business models. We use multiple future scenarios to assess the resilience of our strategy. We regularly review the markets we operate in, assessing our competitive position by analysing trends and uncertainties, and the strengths and weaknesses of our traditional and non-traditional competitors. We maintain business strategies and plans that focus on actions and capabilities to create and sustain competitive advantage. We maintain a risk management framework that regularly assesses our response to, and risk appetite for, identified risk factors (see “Risk factors” on page 11).

Our Executive Directors’ remuneration is linked to the successful delivery of our strategy and based on performance indicators that are aligned with shareholder interests. Long-term incentives form the majority of the Executive Directors’ remuneration for above-target performance. In 2019, the Long-term Incentive Plan (LTIP) included cash generation, capital discipline, value created for shareholders, and a measure focused on Shell’s strategic ambition to thrive in the energy transition. (See the “Directors’ Remuneration Report” on page 98.

 
OUTLOOK FOR 2020 AND BEYOND
We continually seek to improve our operating performance and maximise sustainable organic free cash flow, with an emphasis on health, safety, security, environment and asset performance, and our ethics and compliance principles. To do this, we are committed to attracting, developing and retaining a diverse, talented and motivated workforce.

We launched our $25 billion share buyback programme in 2018, and we have completed about $15 billion of buybacks as of February 20, 2020. Our intention to complete the $25 billion share buyback programme remains unchanged, but the pace remains subject to macro conditions and further debt reduction.

Our cash capital expenditure is expected to be at the lower end of the $24 billion to $29 billion range in 2020. Following the successful delivery of our $30 billion divestment programme during 2016-18, divestments are expected to amount to more than $10 billion over the 2019-2020 period.

We fully support the Paris Agreement’s goal to keep the rise in global average temperature this century to well below two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius. We have set a long-term ambition to reduce the Net Carbon Footprint of our energy products in pace with society, measured in grams of carbon-dioxide equivalent per megajoule consumed, by around 20% by 2035 and by around 50% by 2050 compared to 2016. While our ambition is long term, we believe we must act today if we are to help society progress more quickly. In early 2019 we set a three-year target to reduce our Net Carbon Footprint by 2-3% compared with 2016. For the 2020 award, the target range is a 3-4% reduction in our Net Carbon Footprint against the 2016 baseline. It is intended that this target setting will be done annually, with each year's target covering either a three-year or five-year period. Further details are in the "Climate Change and Energy Transition" section on pages 59-65.

Since the start of 2020 there has been a developing outbreak of the COVID-19 (coronavirus). To date, we have not seen a material impact on our operations. As a result of COVID-19, we have seen macro-economic uncertainty with regards to prices and demand for oil, gas and products. Furthermore, recent global developments and uncertainty in oil supply in March have caused further volatility in commodity markets.  The scale and duration of these developments remain uncertain but could impact our earnings, cash flow and financial condition.

The statements in this “Strategy and outlook” section, including those related to our growth strategies and our expected or potential future cash flow from operations, organic free cash flow, share buybacks, capital investment, divestments, production and Net Carbon Footprint are based on management’s current expectations and certain material assumptions and, accordingly, involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied herein. See “About this Report” on pages 5-6 and “Risk factors” on pages 11-15.



INTRODUCTION SHELL FORM 20-F 2019
07
 



Selected financial data
 
 

The selected financial data set out below are derived, in part, from the “Consolidated Financial Statements”. These data should be read in conjunction with the “Consolidated Financial Statements” and related Notes, as well as with this Strategic Report.
 
Consolidated Statement of Income and of Comprehensive Income data
$ million
 
 
2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

Revenue
344,877

388,379

305,179

233,591

264,960

Income for the period
16,432

23,906

13,435

4,777

2,200

Income attributable to non-controlling interest
590

554

458

202

261

Income attributable to Royal Dutch Shell plc shareholders
15,842

23,352

12,977

4,575

1,939

Comprehensive income/(loss) attributable to Royal Dutch Shell plc shareholders
13,773

24,475

18,828

(1,374
)
(811
)
 
Consolidated Balance Sheet data
$ million
 
 
2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

Total assets
404,336

399,194

407,097

411,275

340,157

Total debt
96,424

76,824

85,665

92,476

58,379

Share capital
657

685

696

683

546

Equity attributable to Royal Dutch Shell plc shareholders
186,476

198,646

194,356

186,646

162,876

Non-controlling interest
3,987

3,888

3,456

1,865

1,245

 
Consolidated Statement of Cash Flows data
$ million
 
 
2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

Cash flow from operating activities
42,178

53,085

35,650

20,615

29,810

Capital expenditure
22,971

23,011

20,845

22,116

26,131

Cash flow from investing activities
15,779

13,659

8,029

30,963

22,407

Cash dividends paid to Royal Dutch Shell plc shareholders
15,198

15,675

10,877

9,677

9,370

Repurchases of shares
10,188

3,947



409

 
Earnings per share
$
 
 
2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

Basic earnings per €0.07 ordinary share
1.97

2.82

1.58

0.58

0.31

Diluted earnings per €0.07 ordinary share
1.95

2.80

1.56

0.58

0.30

Dividend per share
$
 

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

Dividend per share
1.88

1.88

1.88

1.88

1.88

 
Shares
Million
 
 
2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

Basic weighted average number of A and B shares
8,058.3

8,282.8

8,223.4

7,833.7

6,320.3

Diluted weighted average number of A and B shares
8,112.5

8,348.7

8,299.0

7,891.7

6,393.8



STRATEGIC REPORT SHELL FORM 20-F 2019
8
 




Shell story
 
 
 

a1ourbuinessmodelexplained.jpg
Organisation

We describe below how our activities are organised.

Integrated Gas (including New Energies)

Our Integrated Gas organisation manages LNG activities and the conversion of natural gas into GTL fuels and other products. It includes natural gas exploration and extraction, and the operation of upstream and midstream infrastructure necessary to deliver gas to market. It markets and trades natural gas, LNG, electricity and carbon-emission rights and also markets and sells LNG as a fuel for heavy-duty vehicles and marine vessels.
 

In New Energies, we are exploring emerging opportunities and investing in those where we believe sufficient commercial value is available. We focus on new fuels for transport, such as advanced biofuels, hydrogen and charging for battery-electric vehicles; and power, including from natural gas and low-carbon sources such as wind and solar.

Upstream

Our Upstream organisation manages the exploration for and extraction of crude oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids. It also markets and transports oil and gas, and operates infrastructure necessary to deliver them to market.

STRATEGIC REPORT SHELL FORM 20-F 2019
9
 




Downstream

Our Downstream organisation manages different Oil Products and Chemicals activities as part of an integrated value chain, that trades and refines crude oil, and other feedstocks into a range of products which are moved and marketed around the world for domestic, industrial and transport use. The products we sell include gasoline, diesel, heating oil, aviation fuel, marine fuel, biofuel, lubricants, bitumen and sulphur. We also produce and sell petrochemicals for industrial use worldwide. Our Downstream organisation also manages Oil Sands activities (the extraction of bitumen from mined oil sands and its conversion into synthetic crude oil).

Projects & Technology

Our Projects & Technology organisation manages the delivery of our major projects and drives research and innovation to develop new technology solutions. It provides technical services and technology capability for our Integrated Gas, Upstream and Downstream activities. It is also responsible for providing functional leadership across Shell in the areas of safety and environment, contracting and procurement, wells activities and greenhouse gas management.

Our future hydrocarbon production depends on the delivery of large and integrated projects (see “Risk factors” on pages 11-15). Systematic management of life-cycle technical and non-technical risks is in place for each opportunity, with assurance and control activities embedded throughout the project life cycle. We focus on the cost-effective delivery of projects through commercial agreements, supply-chain management, and construction and engineering productivity through effective planning and simplification of delivery processes. Development of our employees’ project management competencies is underpinned by project principles, standards and processes. A dedicated competence framework, training, standards and processes exist for various technical disciplines. We also provide governance support for our non-Shell-operated ventures or projects.

Segmental reporting

Our reporting segments are Integrated Gas, Upstream, Downstream and Corporate. Upstream combines the operating segments Upstream (managed by our Upstream organisation) and Oil Sands (managed by our Downstream organisation), which have similar economic characteristics. Integrated Gas, Upstream and Downstream include their respective elements of our Projects & Technology organisation. The Corporate segment comprises our holdings and treasury organisation, self-insurance activities, and headquarters and central functions. See Note 4 to the “Consolidated Financial Statements” on pages 158-161.

With effect from 2020, our reporting segments were amended with the change in the way the CEO reviews and assesses performance of the group and consist of Integrated Gas, Upstream, Oil Products, Chemicals and Corporate.
 
 
 
 
 
Revenue by business segment (including inter-segment sales)
 
$ million
 
 
2019

2018

2017

Integrated Gas
 
 
 
Third parties
41,322

43,764

32,674

Inter-segment
4,280

5,031

4,096

Total
45,602

48,795

36,770

Upstream
 
 
 
Third parties
9,965

9,892

7,723

Inter-segment
36,448

37,841

32,469

Total
46,413

47,733

40,192

Downstream
 
 
 
Third parties
293,545

334,680

264,731

Inter-segment
1,132

917

1,090

Total
294,677

335,597

265,821

Corporate
 
 
 
Third parties
45

43

51

Total
45

43

51

 
 
 
 
Revenue by geographical area (excluding inter-segment sales)
 
$ million
 
 
2019

2018

2017

Europe
98,455

118,960

100,609

Asia, Oceania, Africa
139,916

153,716

114,683

USA
83,212

89,876

66,854

Other Americas
23,294

25,827

23,033

Total
344,877

388,379

305,179


Technology and innovation

Technology and innovation are essential to our efforts to meet the world’s energy needs in a competitive way. If we do not develop the right technology, do not have access to it or do not deploy it effectively, this could have a material adverse effect on the delivery of our strategy and our licence to operate (see “Risk factors” on pages 11-15). We continuously look for technologies and innovations of potential relevance to our business. Our Chief Technology Officer oversees the development and deployment of new and differentiating technologies and innovations across Shell, seeking to align business and technology requirements throughout our technology maturation process.

In 2019, research and development expenses were $962 million, compared with $986 million in 2018, and $922 million in 2017. Our main technology centres are in India, the Netherlands and the USA, with other centres in Brazil, China, Germany, Oman, and Qatar. A strong patent portfolio underlies the technology that we employ in our various businesses. In total, we have around 9,449 granted patents and pending patent applications.


STRATEGIC REPORT SHELL FORM 20-F 2019
10
 



Risk factors
 
 
The risks discussed below could have a material adverse effect separately, or in combination, on our earnings, cash flows and financial condition. Accordingly, investors should carefully consider these risks.

Further background and measures that we use when assessing various risks are set out in the relevant sections of this Report, indicated by way of cross references under each risk factor.

The Board’s responsibility for identifying, evaluating and managing our significant risks is discussed in “Other Regulatory and Statutory Information” on pages 128-130.

We are exposed to macroeconomic risks including fluctuating prices of crude oil, natural gas, oil products and chemicals.

The prices of crude oil, natural gas, oil products and chemicals are affected by supply and demand, both globally and regionally. Furthermore, macroeconomic risks can affect demand for our products. Government actions may also affect the prices of crude oil, natural gas, oil products and chemicals. This could happen, for example, by promoting the sale of lower-carbon electric vehicles or even through the future prohibition of sales of new diesel or gasoline vehicles, such as the prohibition in the United Kingdom (UK) beginning in 2035. Prices for oil and gas can also move independently of each other. Factors that influence supply and demand include operational issues, natural disasters, weather, pandemics, such as the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, political instability, conflicts, economic conditions and actions by major oil and gas producing countries. In a low oil and gas price environment, we would generate less revenue from our Upstream and Integrated Gas businesses, and, as a result, parts of those businesses could become less profitable, or could incur losses. Low oil and gas prices have also resulted and could continue to result in the debooking of proved oil or gas reserves, if they become uneconomic in this type of price environment. Prolonged periods of low oil and gas prices, or rising costs, have resulted and could continue to result in projects being delayed or cancelled. Assets have also been impaired in the past, and there could be impairments in the future. Low oil and gas prices could also affect our ability to maintain our long-term capital investment programme and dividend payments. Prolonged periods of low oil and gas prices could adversely affect the financial, fiscal, legal, political and social stability of countries that rely significantly on oil and gas revenue. In a high oil and gas price environment, we could experience sharp increases in costs, and, under some production-sharing contracts, our entitlement to proved reserves would be reduced. Higher prices could also reduce demand for our products, which could result in lower profitability, particularly in our Downstream business. Also, higher prices can result in more capacity being built which results in an oversupply of products that can negatively impact our LNG and Chemicals business. Accordingly, price fluctuations could have a material adverse effect on our earnings, cash flows and financial condition.

See “Market overview” on page 16.

Our ability to deliver competitive returns and pursue commercial opportunities depends in part on the accuracy of our price assumptions.

We use a range of oil and gas price assumptions, which we review on a periodic basis, to evaluate projects and commercial opportunities. If our assumptions prove to be incorrect, it could have a material adverse effect on our earnings, cash flows and financial condition.

See “Market overview” on page 17.

Our ability to achieve our strategic objectives depends on how we react to competitive forces.

We face competition in each of our businesses. We seek to differentiate our products; however, many of them are competing in commodity-type markets. Accordingly, failure to manage our costs as well as our operational performance could result in a material adverse effect on our earnings, cash flows and financial condition. We also compete with state-owned oil and gas
 
entities with access to vast financial resources. State-owned entities could be motivated by political or other factors in making their business decisions. Accordingly, when bidding on new leases or projects, we could find ourselves at a competitive disadvantage as these state-owned entities may not require a competitive return. If we are unable to obtain competitive returns when bidding on new leases or projects, it could have a material adverse effect on our earnings, cash flows and financial condition.

See “Strategy and outlook” on page 7.

We seek to execute divestments in the pursuit of our strategy. We may not be able to successfully divest these assets in line with our strategy.

We may not be able to successfully divest assets at acceptable prices or within the timeline envisaged due to market conditions or credit risk. This would result in increased pressure on our cash position and potential impairments. In some cases, we have also retained certain liabilities following a divestment. Even in cases where we have not expressly retained certain liabilities, we may still be held liable for past acts, failures to act or liabilities that are different from those foreseen. We may also face liabilities if a purchaser fails to honour their commitments. Accordingly, if we are unable to divest assets at acceptable prices or within our envisaged timeframe, this could have a material adverse effect on our earnings, cash flows and financial condition.

See “Strategy and outlook” on page 7.

Our future hydrocarbon production depends on the delivery of large and integrated projects, as well as on our ability to replace proved oil and gas reserves.

We face numerous challenges in developing capital projects, especially those which are large and integrated. Challenges include: uncertain geology; frontier conditions; the existence and availability of necessary technology and engineering resources; the availability of skilled labour; the existence of transportation infrastructure; project delays; the expiration of licences; potential cost overruns; and technical, fiscal, regulatory, political and other conditions. These challenges are particularly relevant in certain developing and emerging-market countries, in frontier areas and in deep-water fields, such as off the coast of Brazil. We may fail to assess or manage these and other risks properly. Such potential obstacles could impair our delivery of these projects, our ability to fulfil the value potential determined at the time of the project investment approval, and/or our ability to fulfil related contractual commitments. These could lead to impairments and could have a material adverse effect on our earnings, cash flows and financial condition.

Future oil and gas production will depend on our access to new proved reserves through exploration, negotiations with governments and other owners of proved reserves and acquisitions, as well as on developing and applying new technologies and recovery processes to existing fields. Failure to replace proved reserves could result in lower future production, potentially having a material adverse effect on our earnings, cash flows and financial condition.

See “Shell Story” on page 10.

 
 
 
 
Oil and gas production available for sale
 
Million boe [A]
 
 
2019

2018

2017

Shell subsidiaries
1,182

1,179

1,168

Shell share of joint ventures and associates
156

159

170

Total
1,338

1,338

1,338

[A] Natural gas volumes are converted into oil equivalent using a factor of 5,800 scf per barrel..

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Proved developed and undeveloped oil and gas reserves [A][B] (at December 31)
Million boe [C]
 
 
2019

2018

2017

Shell subsidiaries
9,980

10,294

10,177

Shell share of joint ventures and associates
1,116

1,285

2,056

Total
11,096

11,578

12,233

Attributable to non-controlling interest in Shell subsidiaries
304

331

325

[A] We manage our total proved reserves base without distinguishing between proved reserves from subsidiaries and those from joint ventures and associates.
[B] Includes proved reserves associated with future production that will be consumed in operations.
[C] Natural gas volumes are converted into oil equivalent using a factor of 5,800 scf per barrel.

The estimation of proved oil and gas reserves involves subjective judgements based on available information and the application of complex rules; therefore, subsequent downward adjustments are possible.

The estimation of proved oil and gas reserves involves subjective judgements and determinations based on available geological, technical, contractual and economic information. Estimates could change because of new information from production or drilling activities, or changes in economic factors, including changes in the price of oil or gas and changes in the regulatory policies of host governments, or other events. Estimates could also be altered by acquisitions and divestments, new discoveries, and extensions of existing fields and mines, as well as the application of improved recovery techniques. Published proved oil and gas reserves estimates could also be subject to correction due to errors in the application of published rules and changes in guidance. Downward adjustments could indicate lower future production volumes and could also lead to impairment of assets. This could have a material adverse effect on our earnings, cash flows and financial condition.

See “Supplementary information - oil and gas (unaudited)” on page 189.

Rising climate change concerns have led and could lead to additional legal and/or regulatory measures which could result in project delays or cancellations, a decrease in demand for fossil fuels, potential litigation and additional compliance obligations.

In December 2015, 195 nations adopted the Paris Agreement, which we fully support. The Paris Agreement aims to limit increases in global temperatures to well below two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius. As a result, we expect continued and increased attention to climate change from all sectors of society. This attention has led, and we expect it to continue to lead, to additional regulations designed to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

We expect that a growing share of our GHG emissions will be subject to regulation, resulting in increased compliance costs and operational restrictions. If our GHG emissions rise alongside our ambitions to increase the scale of our business, our regulatory burden will increase proportionally. We also expect that GHG regulation, as well as emission reduction actions by customers, will continue to result in suppression of demand for fossil fuels, either through taxes, fees and/or incentives to promote the sale of lower-carbon electric vehicles or even through the future prohibition of sales of new diesel or gasoline vehicles, such as the prohibition in the United Kingdom (UK) beginning in 2035. This could result in lower revenue and, in the long term, potential impairment of certain assets.

In addition, the physical effects of climate change such as, but not limited to, rise in temperature, sea-level rise and fluctuations in water levels could adversely impact both our operations and supply chains.   

In some countries, governments, regulators, organisations and individuals have filed lawsuits seeking to hold fossil fuel companies liable for costs associated with climate change. While we believe these lawsuits to be without merit, losing any of these lawsuits could have a material adverse effect on our earnings, cash flows and financial condition.
 

Additionally, some groups are pressuring certain investors to divest their investments in fossil fuel companies. If this were to continue, it could have a material adverse effect on the price of our securities and our ability to access capital markets. Additionally, some groups are pressuring commercial and investment banks from financing fossil fuel companies. Furthermore, according to press reports, some financial institutions also appear to be considering limiting their exposure to certain fossil fuel projects. Accordingly, our ability to use financing for future projects may be adversely impacted. This could also adversely impact our potential partners’ ability to finance their portion of costs, either through equity or debt.

If we are unable to find economically viable, as well as publicly acceptable, solutions that reduce our GHG emissions and/or GHG intensity for new and existing projects or for the products we sell, we could experience additional costs or financial penalties, delayed or cancelled projects, and/or reduced production and reduced demand for hydrocarbons. This could have a material adverse effect on our earnings, cash flows and financial condition.

If we are unable to keep pace with society’s energy transition or we are unable to provide the desired low-GHG-emissions products needed to facilitate society’s energy transition, it could have a material adverse effect on our earnings, cash flows and financial condition.

See “Climate change and energy transition” on pages 60.

Our business exposes us to risks of social instability, criminality, civil unrest, terrorism, piracy, cyber-disruption, acts of war and pandemic diseases, such as the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, that could have a material adverse effect on our operations.

As seen in recent years, these risks can manifest themselves in the countries in which we operate and elsewhere. These risks affect people and assets. Potential risks include: acts of terrorism; acts of criminality including maritime piracy; cyber-espionage or disruptive cyber-attacks; conflicts including war, civil unrest and environmental and climate activism (including disruptions by non-governmental and political organisations); and pandemic diseases, such as the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.

The above risks can threaten the safe operation of our facilities and transport of our products, cause disruption of operational activities, environmental harm, loss of life, injuries and impact the well-being of our people.

These risks could have a material adverse effect on our earnings, cash flows and financial condition.

See “Environment and society” on pages 55.

We operate in more than 70 countries that have differing degrees of political, legal and fiscal stability. This exposes us to a wide range of political developments that could result in changes to contractual terms, laws and regulations. In addition, we and our joint arrangements and associates face the risk of litigation and disputes worldwide.

Developments in politics, laws and regulations can and do affect our operations. Potential impacts include: forced divestment of assets; expropriation of property; cancellation or forced renegotiation of contract rights; additional taxes including windfall taxes, restrictions on deductions and retroactive tax claims; antitrust claims; changes to trade compliance regulations; price controls; local content requirements; foreign exchange controls; changes to environmental regulations; changes to regulatory interpretations and enforcement; and changes to disclosure requirements. Any of these, individually or in aggregate, could have a material adverse effect on our earnings, cash flows and financial condition.

In addition to the above risks, the UK left the European Union (EU) on January 31, 2020 and enters into a period of transition which ends on December 31, 2020. The UK has stated that it will not extend the period of transition, and has confirmed plans to introduce import controls on EU goods at the border after the period of transition ends. Whatever the outcome of negotiations, we may experience delays in moving our products and employees between the UK and EU. Also, additional tariffs and taxes could impact the demand for some of our products. This potential delay and

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reduced demand for our products, combined with the potential adverse changes in macroeconomic conditions in both the EU and UK, could have a material adverse effect on our earnings and cash flows.

From time to time, social and political factors play a role in unprecedented and unanticipated judicial outcomes that could adversely affect Shell. Non‑compliance with policies and regulations could result in regulatory investigations, litigation and, ultimately, sanctions. Certain governments and regulatory bodies have, in Shell’s opinion, exceeded their constitutional authority by: attempting unilaterally to amend or cancel existing agreements or arrangements; failing to honour existing contractual commitments; and seeking to adjudicate disputes between private litigants. Additionally, certain governments have adopted laws and regulations that could potentially conflict with other countries’ laws and regulations, potentially subjecting us to both criminal and civil sanctions. Such developments and outcomes could have a material adverse effect on our earnings, cash flows and financial condition.

See “Other Regulatory and Statutory Information” on page 129.

The nature of our operations exposes us, and the communities in which we work, to a wide range of health, safety, security and environment risks.

The health, safety, security and environment (HSSE) risks to which we, and the communities in which we work, are potentially exposed cover a wide spectrum, given the geographic range, operational diversity and technical complexity of our operations. These risks include the effects of natural disasters (including weather events), earthquakes, social unrest, personal health and safety lapses, and crime. If a major risk materialises, such as an explosion or hydrocarbon spill, this could result in injuries, loss of life, environmental harm, disruption of business activities, and loss or suspension of our licence to operate or ability to bid on mineral rights. Accordingly, this could have a material adverse effect on our earnings, cash flows and financial condition.

Our operations are subject to extensive HSSE regulatory requirements that often change and are likely to become more stringent over time. Governments could require operators to adjust their future production plans, as has been done in the Netherlands, affecting production and costs. We could incur significant additional costs in the future due to compliance with these requirements or as a result of violations of, or liabilities under, laws and regulations, such as fines, penalties, clean-up costs and third-party claims. Therefore, HSSE risks, should they materialise, could have a material adverse effect on our earnings, cash flows and financial condition.

See “Environment and society” on page 55.

A further erosion of the business and operating environment in Nigeria could have a material adverse effect on us.

In our Nigerian operations, we face various risks and adverse conditions. These include: security issues surrounding the safety of our people, host communities and operations; sabotage and theft; our ability to enforce existing contractual rights; litigation; limited infrastructure; potential legislation that could increase our taxes or costs of operations; the effect of lower oil and gas prices on the government budget; and regional instability created by militant activities. These risks or adverse conditions could have a material adverse effect on our earnings, cash flows and financial condition.

See “Upstream” on page 32.

Production from the Groningen field in the Netherlands causes earthquakes that affect local communities.

Shell and ExxonMobil are 50:50 shareholders in Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij B.V. (NAM). An important part of NAM’s gas production comes from the onshore Groningen gas field, in which EBN, a Dutch government entity, has a 40% interest and NAM a 60% interest. The gas field is in the process of being closed down due to gas-production-induced earthquakes. Some of these earthquakes have caused damage to houses and other structures in the region, resulting in complaints and lawsuits from the local community. The Government has announced their intent for accelerated
 
close-down to reduce Groningen production to zero by mid-2022. The exact date is still to be decided. While we are hopeful the closing down of the Groningen gas field will reduce the number and strength of earthquakes in the region, any additional earthquakes and lawsuits could have further adverse impacts on our earnings, cash flows and financial condition.

See “Upstream” on page 30.

Our future performance depends on the successful development and deployment of new technologies and new products.

Technology and innovation are essential to our efforts to meet the world’s energy demands in a competitive way. If we do not continue to develop or deploy technology and new products, or fully leverage our data effectively in a timely and cost-effective manner, there could be a material adverse effect on the delivery of our strategy and our licence to operate. We operate in environments where advanced technologies are utilised. In developing new technologies and new products, unknown or unforeseeable technological failures or environmental and health effects could harm our reputation and licence to operate or expose us to litigation or sanctions. The associated costs of new technology are sometimes underestimated, or delays occur. If we are unable to develop the right technology and products in a timely and cost-effective manner, or if we develop technologies and products that adversely impact the environment or health of individuals, there could be a material adverse effect on our earnings, cash flows and financial condition.

See “Shell Story” on page 10.

We are exposed to treasury and trading risks, including liquidity risk, interest rate risk, foreign exchange risk and credit risk. We are affected by the global macroeconomic environment as well as financial and commodity market conditions.

Our subsidiaries, joint arrangements and associates are subject to differing economic and financial market conditions around the world. Political or economic instability affects such markets.

We use debt instruments, such as bonds and commercial paper, to raise significant amounts of capital. Should our access to debt markets become more difficult, the potential impact on our liquidity could have a material adverse effect on our operations. Our financing costs could also be affected by interest rate fluctuations or any credit rating deterioration.

We are exposed to changes in currency values and to exchange controls as a result of our substantial international operations. Our reporting currency is the US dollar. However, to a material extent, we hold assets and are exposed to liabilities in other currencies. While we undertake some foreign exchange hedging, we do not do so for all our activities. Furthermore, even where hedging is in place, it may not function as expected.

We are exposed to credit risk; our counterparties could fail or could be unable to meet their payment and/or performance obligations under contractual arrangements. Although we do not have significant direct exposure to sovereign debt, it is possible that our partners and customers may have exposure which could impair their ability to meet their obligations. In addition, our pension plans invest in government bonds, and therefore could be affected by a sovereign debt downgrade or other default.

If any of the risks set out above materialise, they could have a material adverse effect on our earnings, cash flows and financial condition.

See “Liquidity and capital resources” on page 51 and Note 19 to the “Consolidated Financial Statements” on pages 177-181.

We are exposed to commodity trading risks, including market and operational risks.

Commodity trading is an important component of our Upstream, Integrated Gas and Downstream businesses and is integrated with our supply business. Processing, managing and monitoring a large number of trading transactions across the world, some of which are complex, exposes us to operational and market risks, including commodity price risks. We use derivative instruments such as futures and contracts for differences to hedge market risks. However,

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