Shell posts record profit of $9 billion

Last of the energy majors to publish its results, Shell joins its rivals in the sector, including BP (BP) and TotalEnergies (EARLY) to make big profits thanks to the volatility in commodity prices fueled by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that began on February 24.
It beat its previous highest quarterly profit recorded in 2008, even after writing down $3.9 billion after tax following its decision to exit its Russian operations. It also puts an end to its oil and gas exchanges with Russia.

Shares of Shell rose 3.3% in early trading, outperforming a 1.8% rise in an index of oil and gas companies.

By the end of this year, Shell said it would halt all long-term purchases of Russian crude oil, except for two contracts with a ‘small independent Russian producer’ which it did not name .

Its contracts to import refined petroleum products from Russia will also end, he said, adding that he still had long-term contracts in place to buy Russian liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Shell, the world’s largest LNG trader, said fuel sales rose 9% in the quarter to 18.3 million tonnes. LNG is seen as crucial to ending Europe’s dependence on the Russian gas pipeline.

The European Union’s chief executive on Wednesday proposed a gradual oil embargo on Russia which, if backed by member states, would be a turning point for the world’s largest trading bloc given its dependence on the Russian fuel, although the bloc has yet to work on a gas ban.

Shell maintains $1 billion of Russian assets on its balance sheet, including for gas stations, a lubricants plant and future dividends from its stake in the Sakhalin-2 LNG project, a spokesman said.

Deals versus buybacks

The scale of energy company profits has led the opposition British Labor Party to levy a windfall tax to help people struggling to pay their energy bills due to soaring prices.

The ruling Tories rejected the idea, saying it would discourage companies from investing their profits in the transition to low-carbon energy.

Meanwhile, Shell is offering shareholder incentives.

It said its dividend payouts and share buybacks reached $5.4 billion in the quarter, as part of its $8.5 billion share buyback plan in the first half of the year. ‘year. Its dividend rose to 25 cents per share as planned.

In the current environment, he said he expects shareholder distributions to exceed 30% of cash flow in the second half.

First-quarter adjusted profit rose 43% from the prior quarter to $9.13 billion, above the company’s average analyst forecast for profit of $8.67 billion. That compares with a profit of $3.23 billion a year earlier.

Shell’s adjusted profit from refining and marketing of petroleum products jumped to $1.17 billion from a loss of $130 million in the previous quarter and a profit of $781 million last year despite the fall volumes at around 1.6 million bpd versus 1.9 million.