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Oil giant Shell set to unveil record profits of more than £30bn as households and businesses grapple with sky-high energy bills

Oil giant Shell set to unveil record profits of more than £30bn as households and businesses grapple with sky-high energy bills

Oil giant Shell is set to unveil record profits of more than £30 billion as households and businesses grapple with sky-high energy bills.

The corporate giant is expected to say this week that annual profit more than doubled as the war in Ukraine restricted supplies from Russia, sending the price of gas and electricity rocketing.

The FTSE100 behemoth and its arch rival BP have faced mounting criticism for cashing in. BP chief executive Bernard Looney famously described his company as resembling a ‘cash machine’ because of the amount of money it has made from elevated prices.

But, since he made those comments in 2021 – three months before the invasion of Ukraine – the profits made by BP and Shell have continued to escalate rapidly.

In May, Rishi Sunak imposed a windfall tax on oil and gas producers operating in the UK and the North Sea. The levy was increased in the Autumn Statement from 25 per cent to 35 per cent, and extended until 2028 – three years longer than originally planned.

It is set to raise £40 billion over six years. Critics argue the windfall tax deters investment in the North Sea.

But the scale of the profits at both Shell and BP, which reports next month, is likely to lead to calls for firms to pay more. Shell says it expects to pay windfall taxes in the UK and European Union of around £1.6billion – compared with an annual profit of around £31 billion, which is expected to be revealed by new chief executive Wael Sawan on Thursday.

Its windfall tax contributions will also be dwarfed by the £20 billion returned to investors in dividends and share buybacks last year alone.

BP has also had a blowout year and is expected to reveal it has more than doubled its profits to £23 billion. It expects to pay around £645 million in windfall taxes across the UK and Europe in 2022.

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