Shell’s third-quarter profit slips on low prices

The Hague-based LNG giant Shell saw its third-quarter profit slip 15 percent on lowest realized oil, LNG and gas prices. 

The company reported a profit of $4.8 billion, which compares to $5.8 billion in the corresponding quarter last year. Compared to the previous quarter, however, Shell did report a 37.7 percent jump in earnings.

For the first nine months, Shell’s earnings reached $13.5 billion, 14 percent below the figures in the corresponding period last year.

The earning are reflecting lower realized oil, LNG and gas prices, as well as weaker realized refining and chemicals margins, Shell said in its statement, adding that this was partly offset by significantly stronger contributions from LNG and oil products trading and optimization as well as higher realized margins in retail and global commercial.

Commenting on the results Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden said, “This quarter we continued to deliver strong cash flow and earnings, despite sustained lower oil and gas prices, and chemicals margins. Our earnings reflect the resilience of our market-facing businesses and their ability to capitalize on market conditions, including very strong trading and optimization results this quarter.”

Compared with the third quarter 2018, Integrated Gas earnings excluding identified items primarily reflected significantly stronger contributions from LNG trading and optimization as well as higher volumes, partly offset by lower realized LNG, oil and gas prices. Segment earnings reached $2.6 billion, 23 percent up on the $2.1 billion reported in the corresponding quarter last year.

Compared with the third quarter of 2018, production increased mainly due to field ramp-ups in Australia and Trinidad and Tobago.

LNG liquefaction volumes increased by 9 percent, mainly as a result of new LNG capacity from the Prelude floating LNG facility as well as increased feedgas availability compared with the third quarter of 2018.

Volumes reached 8.95 million tonnes in the quarter under review, which compares to 8.18 million tons in the third quarter of 2018.

LNG sales volumes have also jumped 9 percent, reaching 18.90 million tonnes, compared to 17.27 million tonnes in the third quarter of 2018.

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