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‘Big Oil’ Cuts $20 Billion in Five Hours to Preserve Dividends

Shell operations in Qatar.

Shell operations in Qatar.

Photographer: EPA

Royal Dutch Shell Plc will cut $15 billion of investment over the next three years as the crash in oil prices saw fourth-quarter profit miss forecasts.

Shell, the first of the world’s largest oil companies to report earnings following the slump in crude to a five-year low, will defer or cancel about 40 projects worldwide, Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden said today. Exploration will also be curtailed.