Royal Dutch Shell Plc Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden pledged to do all he can to maintain payments to shareholders of Europe’s largest oil company after crude prices fell by more than half in the past six months. “We have a very long-term dividend policy and I’m not minded to change that,” Van Beurden said in an interview today with Bloomberg Television. “The dividend is an iconic item at Shell and I will do everything to protect it.” Shell, which missed analysts’ expectations for fourth-quarter earnings today, plans to pay a first-quarter dividend of 47 cents a share, unchanged from the previous two quarters, the Hague-based company said in a statement. The company is cutting its capital spending by $15 billion over three years to help it weather the collapse in oil prices and keep paying shareholders. The industry is scurrying to protect returns for investors […]