Shell Q4 profit more than doubles amid hectic period for oil majors

Royal Dutch Shell (LSE:RDSA) has revealed its Q4 2017 profits more than doubled in the midst of a hectic period for global oil majors as news of fresh discoveries and new production targets broke elsewhere.

The Anglo-Dutch company’s earnings on a ‘current cost of supply’ (CCS) basis rocketed to US$4.3 billion in the final quarter of last year, compared with $1.8 billion in the period of 2016.

This impressive quarterly performance contributed to overall earnings of $15.8 billion in 2017 in the latest confirmation of the oil sector’s recovery, after prices returned to around $65 per barrel at the end of the year.

“2017 was a year of strong financial performance for Shell,” said chief executive Ben van Beurden. “A year of transformation, in which we showed we have what it takes to deliver a world-class investment case.”

The report followed news of Shell’s $750 million divestment of its stake in the Bongkot gas field in Thailand.

Elsewhere, BP (LSE:BP) announced two new oil and gas discoveries in the North Sea in another boost to the revitalised offshore crude basin.

BP’s North Sea regional president Mark Thomas said the firm aims to double production to 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) by 2020 and keep producing in the aging field until after 2050.

In similar news, ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) is planning to triple its production out of the Permian Basin by 2025. The largest oil company in the US will take its production of oil and chemical feedstocks to 600,000 bpd in one of the country’s largest oil basins.