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Shell sees earnings soar


Royal Dutch Shell announced that its Q1 earnings rose 60 per cent, driven by higher oil prices despite a dip in production, and helped by asset sales and improving refining operations.

"Our first quarter 2011 earnings have risen from year-ago levels, driven by higher industry margins and our own operating performance," said Peter Voser, Royal Dutch Shell Chief Executive Officer.

Net profit stood at US$8.78 billion, up from $5.48 billion a year earlier. Revenues rose 28 per cent to US$110 billion.

Shell said it produced 3.504 million barrels of oil per day in the quarter, down three per cent from a year ago due to disposal of assets. Production in Q1 2011 increased by some 230 thousand bpd from new field start-ups and the continuing ramp-up of fields, which offset the impact of field declines.

Production profits were $5.76 billion, up 30 per cent. LNG sales volumes hit 4.42 million tonnes in the first quarter 2011 up 4 per cent than in the same quarter a year ago. Chemical product sales volumes in Q1 2011 increased by five per cent compared with the first quarter 2010.

"We continue to make good progress in implementing our strategy; improving near-term performance, delivering a new wave of production growth. We have announced new asset sales and cost savings programmes, as part of Shell's focus on continuous improvement, to enhance our profitability and performance," said Voser.

Shell started commercial production at two new projects during the quarter; the 20 thousand bpd Schoonebeek Enhanced Oil Recovery project in the Netherlands, and Qatargas 4 LNG, with a capacity of 7.8 million tonnes per year.

The first gas flowed from Qatar's North Field into the new Pearl Gas-to-Liquids project during the quarter, where Shell's value-added technology is underpinning the development of the world's largest GTL facility.

"Together, in an industry that needs sustained investment in diverse energy sources to meet customer demand, these projects are expected to add 90 thousand boe/d of peak production for Shell," commented Voser.

These projects are part of a sequence of over 20 new upstream start-ups planned for 2011-14 by Shell.