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Royal Dutch Shell to cut 6,500 jobs this year

Around 6,500 jobs will be axed at Royal Dutch Shell this year as the oil giant struggles amid a slump in prices, it was announced today.

Shell chief executive Ben van Beurden said the firm was planning for a "prolonged downturn" in oil prices Credit: Reuters

The firm said it was "planning for a prolonged downturn" by cutting costs by 10 per cent - some $4 billion (£2.6bn) - during 2015, with further cost-cutting expected for 2016.

Investment for the year is also being slashed by a fifth, or $7bn (£4.5bn), with chief executive Ben van Beurden adding: "We have to be resilient in a world where oil prices remain low for some time, whilst keeping an eye on recovery."

Shell to buy BG Group in £47 billion deal

Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell is to buy exploration firm BG Group in a deal valuing the British business at about £47 billion.

The companies unveiled details of the huge merger, the biggest in the industry for several years, in a statement to the London stock exchange.

Shell to buy BG Group in £47 billion deal Credit: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire

The swoop by the Anglo-Dutch company comes as the oil industry looks to become more efficient and reduce costs in the face of falling energy prices. BG Group, which employs about 5,200 staff in 24 countries, was created in 1997 when British Gas demerged into two separately-listed companies.


Shell quarter four earnings up to $4.2 billion

Energy company Shell has confirmed that its fourth quarter 2014 earnings have risen to $4.2 billion compared with $2.2 billion for the same quarter a year ago. On a "current cost of supplies" basis, full year 2014 earnings were $19.0 billion compared with $16.7 billion in 2013. In the firm's Q4 results, which come despite the cost of oil plummeting recently, it also noted savings of over £15 billion in potential spending over the next three years.

Shell announced results. Credit: PA

Our strategy is delivering, but we’re not complacent. Weaker oil prices underline that there’s a lot more to do. The three themes of financial performance, capital efficiency and project delivery will remain as Shell’s priorities in 2015.

– Shell CEO Ben van Beurden

In it's full year update, Shell said it had options to further reduce spending, but was "not over-reacting to current low oil prices".

Cause of Dutch chemical plant blaze 'unknown'

A still of the blaze at the Royal Dutch Shell facility. Credit: ITV News

The cause of the fire and explosion that broke out at a Royal Dutch Shell chemical plant in the Netherlands late last night is still not known, according to a spokesman.

Royal Dutch Shell spokesman Thijs van Velzen said two people received minor injuries. "All the people that were present are safe," he added.

Mr Van Velzen said he did not know the cause of the fire.

Police and emergency services also said that the flames were dying down and smoke was rising straight up, but advised people near the plume to close their doors and windows.

The blaze was close to the scene of another major fire three years ago at a chemical storage facility.

No reports of injuries in Shell chemical plant blaze

A major blaze has broken out at a chemical plant operated by oil giant Shell near the Netherlands port city of Rotterdam.

Local police and fire authorities have said that nobody has been injured in the explosion or have yet been reported missing.

In this short video, reportedly of the incident earlier tonight, a fireball is clearly seen on the horizon.

Explosion at Dutch Shell chemical plant

A large fire has broken out a a Shell chemical refinery in the Netherlands, according to local media.

People nearby heard two huge bangs and saw a flash of light, the reports say.

It is not yet known if there are casualties or the extent of the damage.

Images on social media show a fireball rising from the plant which is in Moerdijk, south of Rotterdam.

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