SHARE
Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden (Image courtesy of Shell)

Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden warned Friday that earnings for the fourth quarter would shrink by 48%.

“Our 2013 performance was not what I expect from Shell,” van Beurden said. He took over as CEO just two weeks ago.

Shell said adjusted earnings for the quarter would be $2.9 billion, a 48 percent drop from last year.

A statement from the Hague-based company blamed the poor performance on weak refining results, higher exploration costs, and lower production of oil and natural gas.

Bloomberg said the concensus among analysts was for Shell to earn $4.9 billion in the quarter.

Shell will release its full earnings on January 30.

A New York Times story said, “Unrest in Nigeria has lowered oil and gas production, and the company is losing money in its key Am

Shell’s expected fourth quarter capital budget is $15.8 billion.

“All of the major oil companies are under pressure from investors to rein in spending, and Shell announced last month that it would drop plans to build a $20 billion gas-to-liquids plant in Louisiana that would have converted natural gas to fuels like diesel,” the New York Times said.