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Shell Disappointed: Lower Q1 Earnings Expected from Natural Gas Trading

Posted by John Donovan 7 April 2024

In a stunning twist of fate that surely shook the ivory towers of Shell, the UK-based oil giant confessed to expecting a downturn in its Integrated Gas division’s trading results for the first quarter of 2024. Brace yourselves, folks; it seems they won’t be swimming in gold coins this time around.

Shell, in its prophetic earnings preview released on Friday, forecasted a “significant” dip in trading and optimization results compared to the dazzling performance it put on in the fourth quarter of 2023. Oh, the agony of not being able to sustain such brilliance!

But hold your tears! There’s a glimmer of hope in the chemicals and products division, where Shell anticipates trading and optimization to have been “significantly higher” in the first quarter. Hooray for chemicals and products—our knight in shining armor!

In a tale as old as time, the upstream business had its share of woes, with Shell foreseeing a hefty exploration write-off of around $600 million. Albania, you’re in the spotlight—thanks for being the bearer of bad news!

Despite its valiant efforts to keep the ship afloat, Shell’s adjusted earnings of $7.3 billion in the fourth quarter of 2023 still fell short of the hype train’s destination of $6.4 billion. Yet, amid the turmoil, there was a flicker of hope—surprise profits in the chemicals and products segment. Shell, the master of unexpected surprises!

In a classic sequel to the drama, despite a slight dip in annual income for 2023, Shell decided to throw a bone to its shareholders by raising its quarterly dividend and announcing a new share buyback. Because who needs consistent profitability when you have shareholder satisfaction, right?

Ah, the saga of LNG trading, the crown jewel of Shell’s narrative. In the fourth quarter of 2023, amid the clamor for fuel before winter’s icy grip, Shell raked in a hefty $2.4 billion from LNG trading. A true Cinderella story in the world of fossil fuels!

And just when you thought the drama had reached its peak, Shell’s CEO, Wael Sawan, chimed in with a prophetic vision of long-term demand growth in LNG. Yes, folks, the saga continues—Shell’s undying faith in LNG as the knight in shining armor for its business.

Oh, Shell, the maestro of melodrama! With every plot twist, you keep us on the edge of our seats, wondering what dramatic revelation awaits in the next act. Truly, there’s never a dull moment in the tumultuous world of oil and gas trading!

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