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The Scotsman: Reduced demand puts Shell’s gas at a peep

Sunday 21 October 2007
A number of market heavyweights are reporting this week, with BP, Royal Dutch Shell and GlaxoSmithKline among the highlights.

Although oil prices have been running at record highs since the middle of September, both BP and Shell are expected to report a drop in profits.

On Tuesday analysts expect BP to unveil underlying post-tax third quarter profits of $3.96bn (£1.93bn), a decrease of around 30% compared with last year.

The profits dive has been expected for a while by the City after chief executive Tony Hayward, who took over from Lord Browne when he resigned in May, described the group’s operating performance as “dreadful” to BP staff in September.

Meanwhile, Shell is expected to fare only slightly better with consensus forecasts putting profits at $5.64bn (£2.7bn) for the third quarter – a decrease of nearly 20% compared with the third quarter of 2006.

In the first half of the year Shell reported an increase in crude oil production of 1% but gas production fell 6% off the back of reduced demand in north-west Europe and ongoing security problems in Nigeria.

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