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Liquidity and capital resources

Shell generated cash flow from operations of $68.4 billion, including a negative impact from working capital of $5.4 billion, and free cash flow of $46.0 billion in 2022, aided by the improving global macro environment for oil and gas businesses, and divestments (for more information on free cash flow see “Non-GAAP measures reconciliations”). Net debt decreased to $44.8 billion at December 31, 2022, (December 31, 2021: $52.6 billion). Gearing fell to 18.9% at December 31, 2022, compared with 23.1% at December 31, 2021, as higher income increased equity and cash flow generation reduced net debt. Note 20 to the “Consolidated Financial Statements” provides information on our debt arrangements, including net debt and gearing definitions.


We satisfy our funding and working capital requirements from the cash generated from our operations, the issuance of debt and divestments. In 2022, access to the international debt capital markets remained strong, with our debt principally financed from these markets through central debt programmes consisting of:

  • a $10 billion global commercial paper (CP) programme, with maturities between 183 days and 364 days;
  • a $10 billion US CP programme, with maturities not exceeding 397 days;
  • an unlimited Euro medium-term note (EMTN) programme (also referred to as the Multi-Currency Debt Securities Programme); and
  • an unlimited US universal shelf (US shelf) registration.

The CP, EMTN and US shelf debt is issued by Shell International Finance B.V., the issuance company for Shell, with its debt being guaranteed by Shell plc (the Company).

We also maintain committed credit facilities. The core facilities were extended in December 2022. Of the $9.92 billion total facility, $1.92 billion matures in 2023, $0.32 billion in 2025 and $7.68 billion in 2026. This remained fully undrawn at December 31, 2022. These core facilities and internally available liquidity provide back-up coverage for our CP programmes. Other than certain borrowing by local subsidiaries, we do not have any other committed credit facilities.

Our total debt decreased by $5.3 billion to $83.8 billion at December 31, 2022. The total debt excluding leases matures as follows: 8% in 2023; 8% in 2024; 11% in 2025; 7% in 2026; and 66% in 2027 and beyond. The portion of debt maturing in 2023 is expected to be repaid from some combination of cash balances, cash generated from operations, divestments and the issuance of new debt.

In 2022, we did not issue any bonds under our US shelf registration or EMTN programme. $175 million of CP was issued in the second quarter, and repaid within the same quarter. CP outstanding was zero at the end of 2022. Management believes it has access to sufficient debt funding sources (capital markets) and to undrawn committed borrowing facilities to meet foreseeable requirements.

While our subsidiaries are subject to restrictions, such as foreign withholding taxes on the transfer of funds in the form of cash dividends, loans or advances, such restrictions are not expected to have a material impact on our ability to meet our cash obligations.

Market risk and credit risk

We are affected by the global macroeconomic environment, as well as financial and commodity market conditions. This exposes us to treasury and trading risks, including liquidity risk, credit risk, and market risk (interest rate risk, foreign exchange risk and commodity price risk). See “Risk factors” and Note 25 to the “Consolidated Financial Statements”. The size and scope of our businesses require a robust financial control framework and effective management of our various risk exposures.

We use various financial instruments for managing exposure to commodity price, foreign exchange and interest rate movements. Our treasury and trading operations are highly centralised and seek to manage credit exposures associated with our substantial cash, commodity, foreign exchange and interest rate positions. Our portfolio of cash investments is diversified to avoid concentrating risk in any one instrument, country or counterparty. The use of external derivative instruments is confined to specialist trading and central treasury organisations that have appropriate skills, experience, supervision, control and reporting systems. Credit risk policies are in place to ensure that sales of products are made to customers with appropriate creditworthiness, and include credit analysis and monitoring of customers against counterparty credit limits. Where appropriate, netting arrangements, credit insurance, prepayments and collateral are used to manage credit risk.

Pension commitments

We have substantial pension commitments, the funding of which is subject to capital market risks (see “Risk factors”). We address key pension risks in a number of ways. Principal among these is the Pensions Forum, chaired by the Chief Financial Officer, which oversees Shell’s input to pension strategy, policy and operation. A risk committee supports the forum in reviewing the results of assurance processes in respect of pensions risks. In general, local trustees manage the funded defined benefit pension plans, with contributions paid based on independent actuarial valuations in accordance with local regulations. Our total employer contributions were $0.7 billion in 2022 and are estimated to be $0.8 billion in 2023. See Note 23 to the “Consolidated Financial Statements“.

Capitalisation table



$ million


December 31, 2022

December 31, 2021

Equity attributable to Shell plc shareholders



Current debt



Non-current debt



Total debt [A]



Total capitalisation




Of total debt of $83.8 billion (2021: $89.1 billion), $55.2 billion (2021: $61.5 billion) was unsecured and $28.6 billion (2021: $27.6 billion) was secured. $51.0 billion was issued by Shell International Finance B.V., a 100%-owned subsidiary of Shell plc with its debt guaranteed by Shell plc (December 31, 2021: $54.7 billion). See Note 20 to the “Consolidated Financial Statements” for further disclosure on debt.

Euro medium-term note
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