Profits at the Hague-based LNG giant Shell more than doubled in the fourth quarter, driven by higher oil, gas and LNG prices.
Shell’s earnings on a current cost of supplies (CCS) basis rose to $4.3 billion, or 47 cents per share, for the three months ending in December, topping analysts’ forecasts. This compares with $1.8 billion in the same period last year.
Oil and gas production in the fourth quarter rose from the previous quarter to 3.756 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed) from 3.657 million boed.
Shell’s profit more than doubled in 2017 to $16 billion, the highest since the start of the 2014 downturn.
“2017 was a year of strong financial performance for Shell. A year of transformation, in which we showed we have what it takes to deliver a world-class investment case. Our relentless focus on value, performance and competitiveness meant we were able to deliver $39 billion of cash flow from operations excluding working capital movements from our upgraded portfolio,” said chief executive Ben van Beurden.
“We strengthened our financial framework during the year through an $8 billion reduction in our net debt, while our increased free cash flow generation gave us the confidence to cancel the scrip dividend programme in the fourth quarter, in line with what we said previously,” he added.
LNG sales climb
Integrated gas — a business swelled by last year’s acquisition of LNG player BG Group — earned $1.63 billion in the fourth quarter, up from $907 million in 2016.
Shell said its LNG sales volumes increased by 12 percent in the quarter to 17.15 million mt as compared to the previous quarter. The volumes rose 0.21 million mt from the previous quarter.
LNG sales volumes reflected increased sales of third-party volumes, Shell noted in its report.
The company’s LNG liquefaction volumes dropped 1 percent to 8.52 million mt due to “higher maintenance, partly offset by increased liquefaction volumes from Gorgon.”
For the full-year 2017 LNG sales rose 16 percent to 66.06 million mt while liquefaction volumes increased 8 percent to 33.24 million mt.
LNG World News Staff