Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden. Picture: BEN STANSALL/AFP
Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden. Picture: BEN STANSALL/AFP

London — Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden saw his pay package more than double to €20.1m in 2018, mainly thanks to a bonus and an incentive plan for delivering on targets, the oil company said on Thursday.

It was the second highest pay on record for Van Beurden since he became CEO in 2014 and received €24.2m that year — mainly because of changes in pension payments and tax calculations as a result of his promotion.

As the oil prices plunged, his pay fell to €5.6m in 2015, before recovering to €8.6m in 2016 and €8.9m in 2017.

Shell said Van Beurden's role was critical in successfully integrating rival BG, delivering on a $30bn divestment plan and "leading the sector in framing a methodology for aligning with the Paris [climate change] agreement".

“We reviewed Shell's CEO pay ratio externally against the ratios that we see in other FTSE 30 companies, which we calculated based on their disclosed employee numbers and employee costs," Shell's remuneration committee said.

“We believe our ratio is consistent with those seen in other FTSE 30 companies, although it is challenging to draw a meaningful comparison given the different markets and industries in which they operate," it added.

Shell said its remuneration committee would include a new performance condition linked to the transition to lower-carbon energy for the long-term incentive plan grant starting in 2019, one year earlier than planned.