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Woman in PPE turning a wheel working on a platform (photo)


Upstream explores for and extracts crude oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids. It also markets and transports oil and gas, and operates the infrastructure necessary to deliver them to the market. Shell's Upstream business delivers reliable energy from conventional and deep-water oil and gas operations. We are committed to our Upstream activities and plan to maintain our liquids production to the end of the decade.

Segment earnings ($ billion)

8.5 2022: 16.2

Adjusted Earnings ($ billion)

9.8 2022: 17.3

Cash flow from operating activities ($ billion)

21.5 2022: 29.6

Production (thousand boe/d)

1,800 2022: 1,897

Key metrics



$ million, except where indicated





Segment earnings* [A] [B]




Identified items




Adjusted Earnings* [A]




Adjusted EBITDA* [A]




Cash flow from operating activities




Cash capital expenditure*




Liquids production available for sale (thousand b/d)




Natural gas production available for sale (million scf/d)




Total production available for sale (thousand boe/d)





Segment earnings, Adjusted Earnings, and Adjusted EBITDA are presented on a current cost of supplies basis.


See Note 7 to the "Consolidated Financial Statements".


Non-GAAP measure (see Non-GAAP measures reconciliations).

Business conditions

For the business conditions relevant to Upstream, see "Market overview".

Production available for sale

In 2023, liquids production was flat and natural gas production decreased by 16%, compared with 2022.

Total production, compared with 2022, decreased mainly due to the impact of divestments. The impact of field decline was more than offset by growth from new fields.

Earnings 2023-2022

Segment earnings, compared with 2022, mainly reflected lower realised oil and gas prices (decrease of $5,696 million) and lower volumes (decrease of $2,001 million).

Segment earnings in 2023 also included net impairment charges and reversals of $642 million, and net charges of $295 million, which related to the impact of the weakening Argentine peso and strengthening Brazilian real on a deferred tax position. These charges and gains are part of identified items and compare with 2022, where segment earnings included net impairment reversals and charges of $853 million, and charges of $1,385 million relating to the EU solidarity contribution and $802 million relating to the UK Energy Profits Levy.

Adjusted Earnings and Adjusted EBITDA were driven by the same factors as the segment earnings and adjusted for identified items.

Prior year earnings summary

Our earnings summary for the financial year ended December 31, 2022, compared with the financial year ended December 31, 2021, can be found in the Annual Report and Accounts (page 45) and Form 20-F (page 49) for the year ended December 31, 2022, as filed with the Registrar of Companies for England and Wales and the US Securities and Exchange Commission, respectively.

Cash flow from operating activities

Cash flow from operating activities for 2023 was primarily driven by Adjusted EBITDA, partly offset by tax payments of $8,470 million.

Cash capital expenditure

Cash capital expenditure in 2023 was higher, compared with 2022. The increase was mainly a result of the ramp-up of projects in the Gulf of Mexico, Malaysia and the UK. This was partially offset by the Brazil Atapu Transfer of Rights in 2022. Cash capital expenditure is expected to be around $8 billion in 2024.

Portfolio and business developments

Significant portfolio and business developments:

  • In February 2023, we started production at our operated Vito floating production facility (Shell interest 63.1%) in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • In February 2023, we completed the sale of our 50% interest in the CJSC Khanty-Mansiysk Petroleum Alliance in Russia to a subsidiary of GazpromNeft (GPN). In March 2023, we completed the sale of our 50% interest in Salym Petroleum Development LLC to a subsidiary of GPN.
  • In February 2023, we sold our 100% interest in Shell Onshore Ventures LLC in the USA which held a 51.8% membership interest in Aera Energy LLC, to IKAV.
  • In March 2023, we divested our 50% interest in the offshore Block SK307 PSC in Malaysia, and our 40% interest in the offshore Baram Delta Operations (BDO) PSC to Petroleum Sarawak Exploration & Production Sdn. Bhd.
  • In April 2023, we completed the restart of operations at the operated Pierce field (Shell interest 92.5%) in the UK Central North Sea following a significant upgrade. Pierce is a joint arrangement between Shell and Ithaca Energy (UK) Limited (interest 7.48%).
  • In August 2023, we started production at the Timi platform in Malaysia. Timi is developed as part of the SK318 PSC. Our subsidiary, Sarawak Shell Berhad (SSB), is the operator holding 75% equity. The other two partners are PETRONAS Carigali Sdn Bhd (15%) and Brunei Energy Exploration (10%).
  • In December 2023, we took FID on the Sparta project (Shell interest 51%) in the Gulf of Mexico. This will be a Shell-operated production hub developed with Equinor Gulf of Mexico LLC (49%).
  • In December 2023, the Sepetiba FPSO production started in the Mero field.
  • In January 2024, we reached an agreement to sell The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) to Renaissance. Completion of the transaction is subject to approvals by the Federal Government of Nigeria and other conditions.

* Non-GAAP measure (see Non-GAAP measures reconciliations).

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