Royal Dutch Shell profits sink to three year low

Royal Dutch Shell’s profits fell to their lowest since 2016 in the second quarter of the year, with the oil major referencing ‘challenging macroeconomic conditions’ and lower oil and gas prices.

The Anglo-Dutch firm profits dropped by 25% to US$3.5 billion in the three months to June, coming in $1 billion lower than analyst expectations. It resembled Shell’s biggest profits miss since the oil price crash in 2016.

This was despite the company pumping more oil and gas than in the year before, with chief executive Ben van Beurden pointing to the ‘very real depressing effect’ of the ongoing US-China trade war.

The trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies has dampened Asia’s economic growth, which has contributed to weaker global gas markets and has cut profits made by refineries.

Furthermore, in June the price of oil slipped to its lowest level in five months due to falling expectations for global demand.