Shell doubles profits to more than $15bn as chief sets aside $2bn ‘war-chest’ for more utility take-overs

Shell Chief Executive Ben van Beurden
Shell Chief Executive Ben van Beurden

Profits at oil giant Shell last year more than doubled to $15.8 billion – an increase of 119% – from $7.2 billion in 2016, the company announced yesterday.

For the final quarter of last year, alone Shell’s earnings on a current cost of supplies basis (a standard oil industry financial benchmark – also more than doubled to $4.3 billion from less than $2 billion the year before.

Chief Executive Ben van Beurden said the group was “pretty close” to completing its $30 billion programme to sell off ‘peripheral’ oil assets.

He said: “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. 

“So we enter 2018 with continued discipline and confidence, committed to the delivery of strong returns and cash.”

He also said that Shell aims to spend at least $1 billion – and possibly double that – every year in acquiring assets in retail energy supply markets and in charging points for battery-powered vehicles (BPVs).

Analysts also noted with interest what he didn’t say – ie anything about Shell in the North Sea.

2 Feb 2018

Pixie Energy

Pixie logo Pixie Energy is an incubator and a facilitator of strategic research and project work, focusing on energy regulation, policy and markets at the local and national level. Find out more about Pixie Energy here.

Local Energy Matters: Scotland

Local Energy Matters: Scotland is a free-to-download brochure with a focus on energy tariffs in the two Scottish electricity distribution regions, as well news on local energy and low-carbon schemes.

Previous editions can be download here.

Scottish energy market overview

You can read an overview of the Scottish energy market here.

Scottish Government energy feed