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Shell gets everything right except producing oil

Andy Critchlow: JULY 27, 2017

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) – Royal Dutch Shell is great at producing profit, but less so at producing oil. The Anglo-Dutch energy giant has more than tripled its earnings in the second quarter, helped by the strong performance of its downstream refining business and recovering prices. With its debt falling too, the company is doing the right things for shareholders – except in the crucial area of pumping more fuel.

At first glance, Shell’s financial performance suggests that three years in the doldrums for big oil majors may have come to an end. On Thursday, the company reported an impressive 245 percent year-on-year rebound in clean earnings to $3.6 billion for the three-month period ending in June. Prices, which recovered from a slump last January below $30 per barrel, have helped, but there is more to it. FULL ARTICLE

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