Harsh climate: why Shell is divorcing the Netherlands after 114 years

The relationship between the oil firm and its home country had been under strain for some time

17 November 2021 - 20:37 By Laura Hurst, Diederik Baazil and Fred Pals

A 20-minute stroll through The Hague — the pretty but low-key city that houses the Netherlands’ government — takes you from the prime minister’s office to the workplace of someone who’s arguably even more powerful: the CEO of Royal Dutch Shell.

But when Ben van Beurden, who’s worked at Shell since he graduated from nearby Delft University in 1983, called Mark Rutte on Sunday afternoon, the conversation was anything but close. He rang to tell the prime minister that Europe’s biggest oil company was moving its headquarters to London, a step that would simplify its corporate structure and cut taxes for investors. ..

This article is reserved for Sunday Times subscribers.

A subscription gives you full digital access to all Sunday Times content.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Registered on the BusinessLIVE, Business Day or Financial Mail websites? Sign in with the same details.



Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@timeslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00.