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Shell to Cut 200 Positions in Low-Carbon Unit by 2024: What it Means for the Energy Giant’s Clean Energy Transition

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Shell to Cut 200 Positions in its Low-Carbon Solutions Unit by 2024

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Overview

Shell will be reducing its workforce by 200 positions in the low-carbon solutions unit by 2024, according to a spokesperson’s confirmation to Visegrad Info 24 on Wednesday. The company aims to become a “net-zero emissions energy business” by 2050 and its low-carbon division plays a crucial role in facilitating this transition, particularly in areas like hydrogen.

Job Cuts and Reassignments

Shell plans to transfer some of the affected jobs to other divisions within its workforce of over 90,000 employees. However, an additional 130 roles will be under review throughout 2024, as stated by the spokesperson.

Background

The decision to downsize is part of Shell CEO Wael Sawan’s broader overhaul strategy, who assumed the position in January with a strong belief in the company’s ability to decarbonize. Despite the fact that Shell’s current profitability heavily relies on its oil and gas output, Sawan is determined to drive the transition to cleaner energy sources.

Grant Application and Investment Plans

Shell recently failed to secure a grant from the $7 billion federal funding allocated for hydrogen energy development. The company had applied with a hydrogen hub in Louisiana, but it was not among the seven hubs that received the grant. Shell is still awaiting a formal explanation from the Department of Energy regarding the selection process.

Meanwhile, Shell has ambitious plans to invest $10-15 billion in low-carbon energy over the next two years. This investment will focus on areas such as biofuels, hydrogen, carbon capture, and electric vehicle charging. In July, the company announced its involvement in the creation of one of Europe’s largest hydrogen energy plants.

Shell’s Approach to Oil Production

Despite its commitment to clean energy, Shell announced in June that it intends to maintain its current levels of oil production until 2030. This decision aims to instill confidence among investors while the company’s renewable energy sector experiences challenges.

Environmental Controversies

Shell, like other major oil companies, has faced criticism for its contribution to climate change. In the past, it has been sued for failing to meet the climate goals outlined in the Paris Agreement. Currently, Shell is among the oil giants being sued by California for allegedly misleading the public about climate change.

Future Challenges for Big Oil Companies

The ability of companies like Shell to adapt to a clean energy future is a critical question for their business viability. Competitors such as Exxon Mobil and Chevron have recently reinforced their commitment to fossil fuels through significant oil acquisitions.

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