The big question facing Mr van Beurden, is whether he can pull off such an ambitious move. If not, his time at the helm will be shortlived.
By Ben Marlow: 31 Oct 2015
Ben van Beurden must be sick of answering the same question but unless there is an unlikely sudden surge in the oil price – and therefore the fortunes of the world’s energy giants –the boss of Shell is likely to be quizzed on the same issue many more times in the coming months.
What people want to know is, will the UK oil major press ahead with its mammoth £43bn takeover bid for BG Group despite the dramatic slump in the oil price?
The fall from highs of more than $100 a barrel in mid-2014 to as low as $43 has unleashed havoc across the energy industry, forcing the majors to rein in costs at lightning speed as they desperately try to prop up profits and keep paying dividends to investors.