I posted this in the other place today, in reply to some posts knocking Soco.
I can help this debate by adding some previously unpublished information re dividends.
I posted my intention to ask for them on Stockopedia before the 2011 AGM, and received some considerable flack for suggesting it; I was advised not to ask, from an unlikely alliance of ee and Isaac, who can be safely in denial since I cannot be bothered to trawl for the links! But I do not take no for an answer; so I ignored the advice and asked for dividends, and to the best of my knowledge, that started the debate which has continued up to this day.
I repeated my request again at the 2012 AGM. I had replies from Ed, Roger and Rui, but remained standing because my question was not answered (none of them told me when……..). All 3 replies were positive in their intention to pay, and one of the replies, from memory from Roger, said that the directors were shareholders too, so I sat down. After the meeting, Rui de Silva came over to speak to me and told me that the dividend (or other return of capital) matter was of great interest to the directors, as well as to us.
ee has rightly posted that dividends are not tax efficient for most big shareholders, so I asked Brewin Dolphin how other types of capital returns are done. I sent it to Roger Cagle and am overdue to remind him because no reply as been seen. I will post my Soco letter if anyone is interested.