15 November 2021, by Victoria Séveno

Royal Dutch Shell has announced that the company’s headquarters, currently located in The Hague, will be moved to the United Kingdom. The oil and gas company has also revealed that its official name will be shortened to just Shell. 

Royal Dutch Shell offices relocating to London

In a press release on Monday morning, the Anglo-Dutch multinational announced plans to establish its tax residence in the UK – a move which will see the company’s headquarters in The Hague close and a handful of jobs relocate from the Netherlands to London. 

While the company has workers based all around the world, the Dutch head office has always been the meeting point for board members and top management. Shell says the decision has been in order to simplify the company’s share structure and strengthen its competitiveness. 

As a consequence of this move, the oil and gas company – which is officially registered as Royal Dutch Shell – will be renamed and moving forward will only be known as Shell. “Carrying the Royal designation has been a source of immense pride and honour for Shell for more than 130 years,” the company said on Monday. “[But] Shell anticipates it will no longer meet the conditions for using the designation following the proposed change.”

These proposals will be put to the board at a General Meeting in Rotterdam on December 10.

Dutch government unpleasantly surprised by Shell’s announcement

Royal Dutch Shell was established in 1907 following the merging of a Dutch and a British oil company. Since 2005, the company has been incorporated in the UK but has held a Dutch tax residence and dual share structure – according to Shell this structure was never designed to be permanent. 

Shell’s Chair, Sir Andrew Mackenzie, is confident these changes could help the company play a more significant role in the transition to clean energy: “The simplification will normalise our share structure under the tax and legal jurisdictions of a single country and make us more competitive. As a result, Shell will be better positioned to seize opportunities and play a leading role in the energy transition.” 

CEO Ben van Beurden echoed Mackenzie’s confidence, emphasising the company would remain “strongly connected” to the Netherlands, but acknowledged the decision would be “a difficult message for many people.” The Dutch government has said it is “unpleasantly surprised” by the news, saying it “deeply regrets” the decision.

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