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Financial framework
Financial framework – flow chart showing interdependences of cash performance, pay-out / investment and balance sheet (graph)

Our strategy seeks to reinforce our position as a leader in the oil and gas industry, while helping to meet global energy demand in a responsible way. We aim to grow our cash flow and deliver competitive returns through economic cycles, to finance a competitive dividend and fund investment for future growth. Safety and environmental and social responsibility are at the heart of our activities.

Intense competition exists for access to upstream resources and to new downstream markets. But we believe that our technology, project delivery capability and operational excellence will remain key differentiators for our businesses. We expect about 85% of our capital investment in 2014 to be in our Upstream businesses.

In Upstream we focus on exploration for new liquids and natural gas resources, and on developing major new projects where our technology and know-how add value to the resources holders.

We focus on a series of strategic themes, each requiring distinctive technologies and risk management:

  • our upstream and downstream “engines” are strongly cash-generative, mature businesses, which will underpin our financial performance to at least the end of this decade. Here we only seek to make investments in selective growth positions, and we apply Shell’s distinctive technology and operating performance to extend the productive lives of our assets and to enhance their profitability;
  • our growth priorities follow two strategic themes: integrated gas and deep water. These will provide our medium-term growth, and we expect them to become core engines in the future. Here, we use the advantages of Shell’s technological know-how and global scale to unlock highly competitive resources positions; and
  • our longer-term strategic themes are resources plays such as tight gas and shales as well as future opportunities including the Arctic, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, and heavy oil, where we believe large resource positions could potentially become available, with the pace of development driven by market and local operating conditions, as well as the regulatory environment.

Meeting the growing demand for energy worldwide in ways that minimise environmental and social impact is a major challenge for the global energy industry. We aim to improve energy efficiency in our own operations, support customers in managing their energy demands, and continue to research and develop technologies that increase efficiency and reduce emissions in liquids and natural gas production.

Our commitment to technology and innovation continues to be at the core of our strategy. As energy projects become more complex and more technically demanding, we believe our engineering expertise will be a deciding factor in the growth of our businesses. Our key strengths include the development and application of technology, the financial and project-management skills that allow us to deliver large field development projects, and the management of integrated value chains.

We aim to leverage our diverse and global business portfolio and customer-focused businesses built around the strength of the Shell brand.

Portfolio management
Enlarge image Portfolio management – flow chart from strategic intent over resilience and attractiveness to aspired portfolio with results and pay-out (graph)