Shell sees record quarterly profit on energy price surge

Shell has reported a record first-quarter profit of $9.13 billion.

Shell was lifted by higher oil and gas prices, great refining profits and the strong performance of its trading division.

Shell beat its previous highest quarterly profits recorded in 2008 even after writing down $3.9 billion post-tax as a result of its decision to exit its operations in Russia.

By the end of this year, Shell said it would stop all of its long-term Russian crude oil purchases, except two contracts with a “small, independent Russian producer” that it did not name.

Shell, the world’s largest liquefied natural gas trader said sales of the fuel rose by 9% in the quarter to 18.3 million tonnes. LNG is seen as crucial to ending Europe’s reliance on piped Russian natural gas.

Shell said that its dividend payments and share repurchases reached $5.4 billion in the quarter, part of its plan to buy back $8.5 billion shares in the first half of the year.

Its dividend rose to 25 cents per share as planned.

In the current environment, it said it expects shareholder distributions to exceed 30% of cashflow in the second half.

First-quarter adjusted earnings rose 43% from the previous quarter to $9.13 billion, above an average analyst forecast provided by the company for a $8.67 billion profit.

That compares with earnings of $3.23 billion a year earlier.

Shell’s quarterly cashflow of $14.815 billion was hit by outflows of $7.4 billion as a result of changes in the value of oil and gas inventories.

The surge in revenue allowed Shell to cut its debt burden to $48.5 billion from $52.6 billion at the end of 2021.