Shell cuts spending plans

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Royal Dutch Shell is to cut £10bn from its spending plans over the next three years as it responds to sliding oil prices.

The Anglo-Dutch oil giant pledged not to over-react to the oil decline and said lower prices created opportunities to reduce its own costs.

The comments came as Shell unveiled results showing a 12 per cent rise in underlying profits to £2.15bn for the final quarter of 2014.

The performance was boosted by recent efforts to restructure its downstream operation, as well as increased output of higher-margin products.

However, profits for its upstream exploration and production division still fell by 30 per cent to £1.14bn in the quarter.

Chief executive Ben van Beurden said: “We are taking a prudent approach here and we must be careful not to over-react to the recent fall in oil prices.

“Shell is taking structured decisions to balance growth and returns.”