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    Shell Sees Drop in Government Take in 2019


The company has upstream operations in 28 countries.

by: William Powell

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Shell Sees Drop in Government Take in 2019

Anglo-Dutch Shell paid governments worldwide $22.6bn on its upstream activities in 2019, about a quarter less than it had in 2018, according to its report published April 7. In both years, production entitlements were the biggest chunk, comprising about half the total: $10.2bn last year and $14.2bn in 2018, out of that year's total of $29.4bn. The other payments are taxes, royalties, bonuses and fees.

The top recipients were Nigeria at $5.6bn ($6.9bn in 2018); Malaysia at $3.8bn ($4.7bn); Norway at $3.1bn ($4.2bn); Oman at $2.9bn ($3.2); Brazil at $2.5bn ($2.9bn); US at $1.3bn ($1bn) and Qatar at $1.2bn ($1.4bn). Iraq had received $2.2bn in 2018 but it did not feature in the 2019 report following Shell's withdrawal from the Majnoon oil field.

Additionally, Shell collected $47.6bn in excise duties, sales taxes and similar levies on its fuel and other products on behalf of governments in 2019.  The amount paid will vary year-on-year, for reasons such as product prices, changes to tax regimes, the geographical split where the profits are made, and variations in company performance and hydrocarbon production.

The 2019 Payments to Governments Report details payments in 28 countries where Shell has upstream operations, including the basis of reporting and a breakdown by country. The report is prepared in accordance with the UK’s Reports on Payments to Governments Regulations 2014 (as amended in December 2015). This is Shell's fifth such report.