Royal Dutch Shell Plc  .com Rotating Header Image

Motorists’ fury as fuel giants Shell and BP make £4m profit every HOUR


Last updated at 10:02 PM on 25th October 2008

BP and Royal Dutch Shell will this week report massive third-quarter profits totalling nearly £9 billion, angering motorists who are still paying high prices at the petrol pumps.

BP, Europe’s second-biggest oil company after Shell, is on Tuesday expected to report profits of £4.2 billion for the three months to the end of September – a stunning 130 per cent jump on the same period last year.

Shell is set to report a 48 per cent rise on its third quarter last year to £4.6 billion two days later. 


BP is expected to report £4.2 billion profits next week, while Shell is set to report a rise in profits to £4.6 billion


Shell and BP combined were making almost £4 million an hour in the past three months as they benefited from the high price of crude oil.

Oil was trading at $143 a barrel on July 1, but it fell to $99.56 by September 30 and it closed last week at $61.79.

Consumers have been paying record prices on forecourts, though they were offered some relief last week when a petrol price war broke out between the major supermarkets.

Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Morrisons all said they had cut prices while Asda pledged to freeze prices for ten days, regardless of the oil price.

At some supermarket forecourts motorists are now paying 90p a litre with the offer of special promotions, its lowest price since April last year.

However, BP confirmed that not all of its garages would follow the supermarkets in slashing prices.

Lower petrol prices even at supermarkets could be shortlived after Friday’s decision by Opec to slash production by 1.5 million barrels a day.

The move will inevitably send pump prices in Britain back to well over the £1 a litre (£4.54 a gallon) level, according to energy analyst Angus McPhail. 

Though the crude price initially weakened after the emergency Opec meeting in Vienna, McPhail, of Scottish investment trust Alliance, said: ‘While consumers have been getting a breather at the pump, this is likely to be temporary.’

He said the price was likely to stabilise in 2009 at about $80 to $100 a barrel. 

Since April, unleaded petrol has fallen by about 9p a litre (41p a gallon), but with the oil price set to rebound, pump prices will follow suit. 

‘It’s not good news for UK drivers,’ he said. ‘So the message is clear – enjoy the pre-Christmas sale.’

McPhail added that oil prices had a natural ‘floor’ of about $80 a barrel, which is the average cost of producing crude oil.

The longer it trades below this, he said, the more likely it was that oil companies would cut production. 

McPhail said Opec may cut its output by another 500,000 barrels a day in the New Year if there are signs of weakening Chinese demand.


This website and sisters,,,, and, are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia segment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.