Shell’s annual profit triples to $13bn

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Royal Dutch Shell said Thursday that profit after taxation almost tripled to just under $13bn (10.5 billion euros) in 2017, energised by rising oil and gas prices.

Net or bottom-line earnings for the full year compared with a figure of $4.6 billion in 2016, the Anglo-Dutch energy giant revealed in a statement.

Earnings in the fourth quarter leapt 147 percent to $3.8 billion compared with the same part of 2016.

Shell was boosted particularly by a major recovery in crude oil prices, which tends to ramp up revenues and profits for the entire sector.

World oil prices leapt by about 15 percent to finish the year at around $60 per barrel, aided by oil cartel OPEC’s efforts to limit its collective production.

“Full-year earnings benefited mainly from higher realised oil, gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices, improved refining performance and higher production from new fields, which offset the impact of field declines and divestments,” the company said.

Shell added Thursday that profit adjusted for exceptional items and the changing value of oil and gas inventories surged to $12.1 billion in 2017, from $3.5 billion last time around.

Revenues soared by almost a third to $305 billion.

The company meanwhile boosted its cash flow in the wake of its 2016 purchase of BG Group.

“2017 was a year of strong financial performance for Shell,” added chief executive Ben van Beurden.

“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.

“We strengthened our financial framework during the year through an $8 billion reduction in our net debt.”

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