Stock of the Week: Royal Dutch Shell

FTSE 100 oil major's shares are on the up this year as crude prices rise, but how will Shell handle the pressure to go net zero?

James Gard 1 October, 2021 | 11:52AM
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Stock of the week post-it

Nationwide petrol shortages have put oil companies in the spotlight this week. We asked our Twitter followers which one we should write about and they’ve gone for Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB), just ahead of rival BP (BP.). As one of the FTSE 100’s biggest companies and dividend payers, Shell has been popular stock for retail investors over the years. “You Can Be Sure of Shell” was its advertising slogan but the coronavirus pandemic and the ESG revolution has made life much less certain for this energy giant in particular.

Once the petrol panic subsides, investors will go back to the fundamentals of oil company investing – in the short term this involves oil prices, which have been surging recently, profits and dividends. Longer term there’s the challenge of the global shift to renewable energy and race to net zero across the world, and what part fossil fuel companies play in that transition.

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James Gard  is content editor for