Oil giant Shell has reported record profits to over $25 billion after high oil prices boosted its results.
The figure, which is 21% higher than a year earlier, included a better than expected performance in the final three months of the year, when the company’s earnings figure rose 11% to $6 billion.
The recent fall in the price of oil means analysts are expecting the year ahead to be much tougher for Shell, particularly as it will be under increasing pressure to find new sources of oil.
With increased focus on production, Shell said fourth quarter output was 3.645 million barrels of oil equivalent a day, compared with 3.5 million a year ago. Nigeria and Sakhalin continue to plague the company. Production from Shell’s Nigerian operations was 191,000 barrels down on a year ago, due to ongoing trouble. The company’s long-term production worries have been compounded by the loss of some of its interests in the Sakhalin-2 gas project to Russia’s Gazprom.
Chief executive Jeroen van der Veer said the situation in Nigeria and the reduction of the Sakhalin stake meant the company expected “only modest production growth” to the end of the decade.