Helped by the rebound in oil prices to around $70-barrel this year, the company expected to announce “underlying profits of $5.3 billion for the three months up to March, compared with $3.8 billion in the same period last year”.
Oil prices fell to less than $30 a barrel two years ago, but have rebounded over the past year and briefly reached $74 a barrel last week.
Meanwhile, Iran’s oil minister said there would be no need to extend a pact between OPEC and non-OPEC producers aimed at bolstering oil prices if the crude price continued to rise, the ministry’s official website SHANA reported yesterday.
Since early 2017, members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Russia and other non-OPEC crude producers have curbed output with the aim of eliminating a global oil glut.
The pact runs until the end of 2018. Participants will discuss at an OPEC meeting in Vienna in June whether to extend the deal.
US President Donald Trump has accused OPEC of “artificially” boosting oil prices.
He wrote on Twitter: “Looks like OPEC is at it again. With record amounts of oil all over the place, including the fully loaded ships at sea. Oil prices are artificially Very High! No good and will not be accepted!”
24 Apr 2018