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Shell to continue $7 billion buyback programme ‘at pace’

Randy Mancini 4 Jan 7
General view of a Shell petrol station sign
General view of a Shell petrol station sign, in Milton Keynes, Britain, January 5, 2022. REUTERS/Andrew Boyers

January 7, 2022

By Ron Bousso

LONDON (Reuters) -Royal Dutch Shell said on Friday its $7 billion share buyback programme, of which $1.5 billion has been completed, will continue “at pace” despite a slowdown in fuel demand due to the Omicron COVID-19 variant.

Shell, the world’s largest trader of liquefied natural gas (LNG), said that its production and liquefaction volumes were impacted in the fourth quarter by unplanned maintenance, mainly in Australia, where its flagship Prelude floating LNG https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/shell-halts-prelude-lng-production-loading-after-power-outage-2021-12-03 vessel was hit by a power outage.

In a trading update, Shell said LNG trading results in the fourth quarter of 2021 are set to be “significantly higher” compared to the third quarter.

Natural gas and electricity prices around the world have soared since the middle of last year on tight gas supplies and higher demand as economies rebounded from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Benchmark European gas prices and Asian LNG prices hit all-time highs in the fourth quarter.

(Reporting by Ron Bousso; editing by Jason Neely)