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Shell boss claims the firm is ‘suffering like motorists’ despite making £440 a second


THE boss of oil giant Shell has sparked fury by claiming his firm is “suffering like motorists” from sky-high prices, while revealing profits of £440 a second.

Peter Voser tried to defend record high pump prices by claiming the soaring cost of oil hammered its refineries, which convert crude into fuel and other products.

Voser, who raked in £2.8million in 2009, blamed the pain on VAT and fuel duty, arguing 70% of the pump price went to the Treasury.

He said: “I suggest the motorist talks to the government.”

But Mr Voser ignored the fact Shell cashed in on the sharp rise in oil prices in its “upstream” production arm, helping profits rocket almost 400% to £3.5 billion in the final three months of 2010.

Peter Carroll, from the Fair Fuel UK campaign group, fumed: “Most people will be shocked. Real suffering is not being able to afford to fill-up your tank.”

“This just shows that while motorists and the national economy are the losers, oil companies, governments and speculators are the winners. They are laughing all the way to the bank.”

A surge in oil prices above $100 a barrel has pushed the national average for unleaded to 128.62p a litre and diesel to 133.38p.

Higher oil prices for much of last year saw Royal Dutch Shell’s annual profits nearly double to £11.5bn.

The figure came two days after rival BP revealed its first annual loss in nearly two decades , as the cost of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill ballooned to more than £25billion.

Despite Shell’s bumper profits, shares in the multi-national dropped 3% yesterday after investors reckoned it could have made even more money.

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