Royal Dutch Shell Plc  .com Rotating Header Image

Royal Dutch Shell profits slump as oil price slide puts energy giant on back foot ahead of mega-merger with BG

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 22.23.23

Screen Shot 2015-04-30 at 17.09.14

Earnings dropped steeply from $7.33billion last year to $3.25billion

Company hopes oil prices will rise to $90 a barrel by 2018 


Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell has reported a near 60 per cent slump in first quarter profits after it was hit by the fall in oil and gas prices.

Earnings dropped steeply from $7.33billion ($4.6billion) last year to $3.25billion – though the figure was better than City forecasts of about $2.5billion. 

The price of a barrel of Brent crude has fallen by half since last year after peaking at about $115 a barrel in the summer of 2014.

The company, which earlier this month announced a £55billion agreed offer for UK-based BG Group, said it expects oil prices to rise to $90 a barrel by 2018 – justifying the 50 per cent premium it bid to buy its rival.  

However there was a sharp improvement in the group’s refining, marketing and oil trading businesses. Earnings in downstream were up 68 per cent to £1.7billion.

It maintained a dividend of 47 cents per share and said it has already sold $2billion worth of assets so far this year as the company scaled back its activities in Nigeria.  

Chief executive Ben van Beurden said: ‘Our results reflect the strength of our integrated business activities, against a backdrop of lower oil prices.

‘Meanwhile, in what is clearly a difficult industry environment, we continue to take steps to further improve competitive performance by redoubling our efforts to drive a sharper focus on the bottom line in Shell.

‘Part of this focus is the sale of non-strategic assets. In parallel we continue to reduce our operating costs and capital spending.’ 

Shell’s results come two days after rival BP reported a slump in profits due to lower oil and gas prices, but which was also not as bad as expected partly thanks to a better downstream performance.

Keith Bowman, analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: ‘The results are ahead of expectations. Like rivals including BP, the fall in the oil price has proved to be something of a double edged sword, with the earnings impacted upstream operations being partly compensated for by the tailwind given to its downstream refining business.’

Shares rose 1 per cent today, or 27.0p, at 2096.0p. 

Earlier this year the Anglo-Dutch oil giant said it was pulling nearly £10billion out of planned investment. Casualties of the cuts include the ‘commercially unfeasible’ $6.5billion Al-Karaana project in Qatar. 

It also recently announced plans to axe at least 250 jobs in its North Sea operations, though the company has said it remains committed to oil production in the North Sea.

Shell sold 185 of its UK petrol stations this month. It has more than a 1,000 petrol stations in the UK.


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.