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Shell’s LNG Trading Head to Step Down Weeks After Posting $2.4 Billion Profit

Just weeks after posting $2.4 billion in trading profits from liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the fourth quarter of last year, the long-time head of Shell’s LNG, natural gas and power trading unit, Steve Hill, is stepping down, the supergiant announced on Monday. 

Hill will officially step down from his position as head of Shell Energy on March 28 and hand control over to a successor that has yet to be announced, Reuters reports. 

Hill has held this position since 2016, when Shell acquired BG Group in a $53-billion deal. He has led Shell to become the world’s largest LNG trader, representing 17% of global LNG trading, according to Reuters. 

No reason has been given for Hill’s departure, with Shell telling reporters only that he “elected” to leave. 

In Q4 2023 earnings, Shell reported consensus-beating adjusted earnings of $7.3 billion for the fourth quarter, well ahead of estimates of $6.4 billion, thanks to strong LNG trading and optimization results. 

Related: Two Countries That Could Break Putin's Gas Grip On Europe

Trading profits have soared since Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine, which has sparked a voracious appetite for LNG. 

In its latest annual LNG outlook published in February, Shell said it expected global LNG demand to surge by 50% by 2040, driven by higher demand from Asia, with coal-to-gas switching in China and a boost in LNG consumption to fuel economic growth in South and Southeast Asia.

Further afield, Shell said the global LNG market was poised for further expansion into the 2040s, primarily due to China’s industrial decarbonization and strengthening demand in other Asian countries. 


While the International Energy Agency (IEA) sees peak demand for natural gas slowing down this decade and peaking by 2030, Shell sees peak demand as at least another decade beyond this.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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