Shell profit climbs to 4.39 billion dollars in quarter
British oil giant Royal Dutch Shell reported on Thursday a 15-percent jump in net profits to 4.393 billion dollars (3.377 billion euros) in the second quarter, on cutting costs and raising output.
"This is a good performance from Shell, despite today's challenging macro-economic conditions. We are on track for growth," Shell's chief executive Peter Voser said in the company's earnings statement.
Shell added that its net profit, when also adjusted for the value of inventories of oil and gas, soared to 4.21 billion dollars in the three months to June compared with the equivalent figure in the second quarter of 2009.
This was above expectations of 4.02 billion dollars in a Dow Jones Newswires poll of 12 analysts. Shell's production meanwhile increased by five percent to 3.1 million barrels of oil equivalent.
"We are delivering on our strategy. Shell's cost programmes have delivered over 3.5 billion dollars of annualised underlying savings," said Voser.
"Our investments have underpinned a five percent increase in oil and gas production for the quarter."
Its performance contrasts markedly with that of embattled rival BP, which on Tuesday posted a second-quarter loss of 16.9 billion dollars in the wake of the devastating Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Voser offered his sympathy to all those affected by the worst environmental disaster in US history but insisted there remained an "important role" for deep-water oil production.
"The BP ... blow-out and the related Gulf of Mexico oil spill is a tragedy for everyone affected," Voser said in his company's statement.
"We were all shocked by the loss of life there, and the on-going and wide-spread impacts from the spill.
"World-wide deep water production has an important role to play in the global energy supply equation, with potential for production growth with supply diversity, and sustained investment in technology, jobs and services.
"The recent announcement of Shell's participation in a new, one billion dollar Gulf of Mexico oil spill containment system, is an example of where we are working with governments and partners to improve the industry's capabilities," he added.
BP has been mauled by Washington since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded on April 20, killing 11 workers and unleashing millions of gallons of crude into the sea and onto the US Gulf coast.
BP's chief executive Tony Hayward on Tuesday said he planned to step down on October 1, while claiming he had been "demonised and vilified" over the spill.
It has taken more than three months to stem the flow, while up to four million barrels (170 million gallons) of crude have escaped.
The catastrophe has destroyed vital tourism, fishing and oil industries in the five US Gulf coast states and left BP facing soaring clean-up and compensation costs.
© 2010 AFP