The Anglo-Dutch company said Wednesday that it would cut between 7,000 and 9,000 positions by the end of 2022, potentially affecting more than 10% of its workforce. The total includes 1,500 people who have volunteered to leave the company this year.
"We have to be a simpler, more streamlined, more competitive organization that is more nimble and able to respond to customers," CEO Ben van Beurden said in a statement. "Make no mistake: this is an extremely tough process. It is very painful to know that you will end up saying goodbye to quite a few good people," he added.
Shell has committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions from its own operations by 2050. Van Beurden said Wednesday that the company would still produce some oil and gas by that date, but it would "predominantly" sell low-carbon electricity, low-carbon biofuels and hydrogen.
Some analysts think global demand for oil may never return to its 2019 record high, expecting instead that the pandemic will permanently reshape the way people live and travel — and that consumers will push companies and governments to address the climate crisis with more urgency.