January 30, 2014 - 15:29 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell is stepping up asset disposals as part of a strategy that will see the company "changing emphasis" in 2014, BBC News reports.
The changes will involve Shell stopping its exploration program in Alaska.
On Thursday, Jan 30, Shell posted 'clean' profits - which strip out the impact of oil price movements - of $2.9bn for the last quarter of 2013, down from $5.6bn on the period in 2012.
It comes a week after Shell issued a "significant" profits warning.
New chief executive Ben van Beurden, a month into the job, said on Thursday that "the landscape the company had expected has changed".
On Jan 17, Shell, the world's third-largest publicly-quoted oil company, surprised investors with a warning about profits for the quarter to the end of December, blaming high exploration costs, pressures across the oil industry and disruption in Nigeria.
Thursday's quarterly profits were broadly in line with expectations following the profits warning, and took full-year 'clean' profits to $19.5bn, against $25.3bn in 2012.
Van Beurden took over as chief executive on 1 January, replacing Peter Voser.
The new boss said in a statement on Thursday: "Our overall strategy remains robust, but 2014 will be a year where we are changing emphasis, to improve our returns and cash flow performance."
Capital spending will fall to $37bn this year from $46bn in 2013, Shell said, adding that, for the time being, it was also scrapping a controversial exploration programme in Alaska.
Last week, a U.S. court ruled that a full assessment of the environmental risk associated with the Alaska exploration had not been carried out by the U.S. government.
Shell had spent around $4.5bn exploring for oil off the coast of Alaska since 2005, but has faced strong environmental opposition.