May 4, 2017

Shell doubles its profits with oil price rebound

Royal Dutch Shell more than doubled its profits in the first quarter of this year as the Anglo-Dutch group became the latest large oil and gas producer to demonstrate the benefits of higher crude prices. The top five oil "Supermajors" - Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Total and BP - have all beaten expectations with their quarterly results in the past week, marking the clearest sign so far of the industry's gradual recovery from a two-year slump. Shell faced the additional challenge of paying for its £35bn acquisition of BG Group, completed last year during the depths of the downturn, but Thursday's numbers suggested the enlarged group's balance sheet was gradually returning to health. "We continue to reshape Shell's portfolio and to transform the company with over $20bn of divestments completed or announced that will strengthen the balance sheet as they are completed," said Ben van Beurden, Shell chief executive. Oil and gas production was up 2 per cent in the first quarter compared with one year earlier, at 3.7m barrels of oil and oil equivalent per day.

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