Here are the top business stories making the headlines in the morning newspapers.

Exploration acreage surrendered

More than 5,000 square kilometres of North Sea exploration acreage were surrendered or expired yesterday as deadlines for licences hit the industry.

The five licences are in the central and southern North Sea, having been issued during the 29th offshore exploration round in 2016.

Energy Voice says the North Sea Transition Authority places milestones for licence activity in order to ensure development. If these aren’t met, then the regulator can choose not to extend licences. Operators cannot sit on areas without making progress.

Waitrose halting Aberdeen deliveries

A supermarket group is halting grocery delivery services to Aberdeen postcodes next month.

Waitrose has told customers living in the city they will no longer be able to receive deliveries from June 24.

Groceries from the luxury supermarket chain would usually be delivered to North-east residents from the branch in Stirling.

However, the firm told the Press & Journal it is no longer able to sustain the five-hour round trips.

The news follows Waitrose announcing a partnership with Dobbie’s on Lang Stracht in Aberdeen.

From June, over 2,000 Waitrose products will be available across the store in the garden centre.

Decom rebrand

Decom North Sea has officially rebranded in order to better reflect the broader trends of the energy transition.

The industry body is now called Decom Mission, as it seeks to target internal opportunities and diversify into nuclear and renewables.

Energy Voice says it comes as the decommissioning organisation plans for a more stable future under the leadership of chief executive Sam Long and operations director Callum Falconer.

Shell lawsuit dismissed

A London judge has dismissed a lawsuit accusing Shell board members of failing to manage climate-change risks.

The judge threw ClientEarth’s suit out before a full hearing as there wasn’t a clear case against Shell.

Energy Voice says the environmental law firm now has the opportunity to request an oral hearing to ask the court to reconsider.

“The claim is utterly misconceived and a clear misuse of the English courts,” a spokesperson for Shell said. “Our directors have always complied with their duties and acted in the company’s best interests.”

Settlement with ExxonMobil

Eleven Indonesian villagers from Aceh province have reached a confidential financial settlement with oil giant ExxonMobil.

The BBC says the villagers have been at the centre of a two-decade long legal battle over alleged human rights abuses.

They say they endured torture, sexual assault, and beatings by Indonesian soldiers contracted by ExxonMobil.

ExxonMobil said it condemns such abuses "including those asserted in this case against the Indonesian military".

Tory donor loses legal battle

A top businessman whose foreign companies were part of a global money-laundering investigation is a major donor to the Conservative Party.

Javad Marandi, who has an OBE for business and philanthropy, can be named after losing a 19-month legal battle with the BBC to remain anonymous.

Mr Marandi strongly denies wrongdoing and isn't subject to criminal sanction.

The BBC says the judgement against him is a milestone for freedom of the press amid growing privacy laws in the courts.

Defeats in the Lords

The UK Government has suffered defeats in the House of Lords over plans to scrap certain EU laws by the end of the year.

Peers backed an amendment which would give Parliament greater scrutiny over which rules should be ditched.

The House of Lords also voted to give devolved governments, rather than Westminster ministers, the final say on whether EU rights should be kept.

The BBC says that, once the Lords has finished debating the Retained EU Law Bill, it will return to the House of Commons.

Free tuition ruling

Hundreds of students who have come to Scotland as migrants will be eligible for free tuition in future.

The Scottish Government has said it will widen eligibility following a landmark legal ruling.

Lawyers successfully argued that Iraq-born Ola Jasim, who has lived in Scotland since she was 11, had her human rights breached.

She had been unable to get free tuition because she was two months short of the length of residency required.

Free tuition support will now be extended, from the 2023/24 academic year, to students living in Scotland who have been in the UK for three years, and have been granted leave to remain.

The BBC says unaccompanied children who are asylum seekers and the children of asylum seekers will also be able to apply for free tuition in higher or further education.

Choosing his words with more care...

The senior Bank of England official who told households to accept being poorer has admitted that he should have used “less inflammatory” language.

Huw Pill, the Bank’s chief economist, acknowledged that he should have chosen his words with more care after telling British families to “accept that they’re worse off” following a surge in inflation.

Mr Pill said: “If I had the chance again to use different words, I would use somewhat different words to describe the challenges we all face.

“I think the viral response to my words perhaps hasn't been very helpful to our communication or our understanding of the situation.”

The Telegraph says Mr Pill, who earns nearly six times more than the average person, came under fire last month for urging workers to stop asking for pay rises as part of efforts to prevent the economy overheating.

He argued that such demands only increased prices further and continued to drive up prices.

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