Feb 3, 2022

Shell sweetens shareholder returns as oil and gas prices boost earnings

Shell will increase its dividend and buy back more shares after high prices for oil and gas helped it deliver bumper full-year earnings after a strong fourth quarter. The bumper profits mark a stark turnround for the group after a bruising 2020, when Shell recorded its lowest earnings since the unification of Royal Dutch and Shell Transport in 2005 and the only annual loss in the company's history. Van Beurden pushed back against calls from some British politicians for a one-off windfall tax on oil and gas companies to help support households struggling to pay energy bills, driven by the soaring wholesale prices that underpinned Shell's profits. Shell's performance was driven by its integrated gas, renewables and energy solutions division, which generated more than 63 per cent of group earnings in the fourth quarter, as an energy crunch in Europe pushed up natural gas prices. Van Beurden said the company's North Sea gas assets had operated "Very well" in 2021, adding that Shell had diverted additional LNG shipments to the UK, which now received 2-3 per cent of the company's global LNG cargoes.

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