Oil giant Shell posts sharp drop in second-quarter profit on weaker commodity prices


General view of the Shell logo.
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LONDON — British oil giant Shell on Thursday reported a sharp year-on-year drop in second-quarter profit, citing lower fossil fuel prices and refining margins.

Shell posted adjusted earnings of $5.1 billion for the three-month period through to the end of June, missing analyst expectations of $6 billion, according to estimates collated by Refinitiv.

The company reported adjusted earnings of $11.5 billion during the same period of last year and $9.6 billion for the first three months of 2023.

“Shell delivered strong operational performance and cash flows in the second quarter, despite a lower commodity price environment,” Shell CEO Wael Sawan said in a statement.

Shell increased its quarterly dividend by 15% to $0.33 per share, as previously communicated in mid-June. It also announced $3 billion in share buybacks, a program it expects to complete over the next three months.

Shares of the London-listed oil major are 3% higher year-to-date.

Shell’s results come shortly after Norwegian oil and gas giant Equinor reported a 57% decline in year-on-year second-quarter profit as oil and gas prices slipped from last year’s high levels.

The West’s five largest oil companies raked in combined profits of nearly $200 billion in 2022 as fossil fuel prices soared following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. For its part, Shell reported annual record profit of almost $40 billion for the full-year 2022.

Oil and gas prices were under pressure in the first half of the year, however, as global economic jitters outweighed supply-demand fundamentals.

The impact of lower commodity prices is likely to be mirrored across the energy industry, with Britain’s BP and U.S. rivals Exxon Mobil and Chevron all scheduled to report earnings in the coming days.

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