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Shell profits rise by 18% - [Ireland's didn't]

Tim Webb - The Guardian

Shell profits rise by 18% - [Ireland's didn't]


Quote on the Jim Larkin statue:"The great appear great because we are on our knees: Let us rise.”

Oil company's quarterly earnings hit $3.5bn, exceeding expectations, as new oil sands facility comes on line

Shell's profits rose by almost a fifth in the last three months on the back of higher production and oil and gas prices.

The oil company said that it had also approved two new major projects, including one deepwater project in the Gulf of Mexico, which will further boost production in the future.

Profits in the third quarter rose by 18% to $3.5bn (£2.2bn), higher than analysts' expectations. Chief executive Peter Voser said: "We are making good progress against our targets and there is more to come from Shell."

Oil and gas production increased by 5% compared with last year to just over 3m barrels per day; sales of liquefied natural gas rose by 22% while the volume of refined oil products was also up.

The company also began production at its oil sands mine, Jackpine in Canada, which added 100,000 barrels per day production. Jackpine is the fifth startup of 13 new projects planned for 2010 and 2011. Production was also higher in Nigeria, due to new projects there coming on stream and improved security.

Shell is the first of the European oil majors to report results for the third quarter. It has been investing substantially in new projects in Canada, the Gulf of Mexico and Australia to reverse a decline in production and boost its flagging reserves portfolio.

The company is planning to sell between $7bn and $8bn of assets by the end of next year and last year announced a cost-cutting programme, "Transition 2009", to restructure the business.