ROYAL Dutch Shell boss Ben van Beurden has seen the value of his pay package fall by 50 per cent but still earned total remuneration of around £8.7 million last year.

The oil and gas giant’s annual report shows Mr van Beurden’s total remuneration dropped by around £9m last year, from £17.8m in 2018, following a fall in the value of his performance-related awards.

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In the annual report Shell said its remuneration committee felt Mr van Beurden’s total pay represented a fair level of remuneration, taking into account the company’s strong competitive performance from 2017 to 2019.

It said a significant bonus reduction in 2019, to €0.8m (£0.7m) from €3m, reflected factors such as the number of fatalities and safety challenges experienced by the group as well as a drop in the amount of cash it generated from operations.

The report said Shell operates with a clear purpose and well-defined strategic intents that balance societal progress with performance under Mr van Beurden. He continues to lead the way in the energy debate externally, for example by “galvanising coalitions to start action on sectoral decarbonisation” in fields such as aviation.

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However, the report said the group’s HSSE (health, safety, security and environment) performance was mixed last year.

It noted: “The (seven) fatalities in Shell operated ventures in 2019 are unacceptable and provide a stark reminder of the need for an ongoing focus on safety.”

The total remuneration of Shell’s chief financial officer Jesscica Uhl increased to around £5.3m in 2019 from £4.3m.

Shell’s total net income before tax fell to $25.5 billion (£20bn) in 2019 from $35.6bn following a fall in oil and gas prices during the year.