FILE – This Oct. 27, 2011, file photo, shows the Perdido oil platform located about 200 miles south of Galveston, Texas, in the Gulf of Mexico. The Biden administration is proposing up to 10 oil and gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and one in Alaska over the next five years. The announcement on Friday, July 1, 2022, said fewer lease sales or even zero could occur, with a final decision not due for months. (AP Photo/Jon Fahey, File)

LONDON (AP) — Global energy giant Shell said Thursday that its annual profits doubled to a record high last year as oil and natural gas prices soared after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

London-based Shell Plc posted adjusted earnings of $39.9 billion for 2022 in its financial results for the final three months of the year. Adjusted earnings in the fourth quarter, which exclude one-time items and fluctuations in the value of inventories, rose by 50%, to $9.8 billion, from the same period a year earlier.

Shell is the latest oil company to report bumper profits, which risks reigniting public anger that the fossil fuel industry do more to offset high energy bills for households and small businesses as well as cut climate-changing carbon emissions. U.S.-based Exxon Mobil also posted record annual profits days earlier, while U.K. rival BP and France’s TotalEnergies reported huge quarterly profits last year.

The results demonstrate Shell’s “capacity to deliver vital energy to our customers in a volatile world,” new CEO Wael Sawan said in a statement.

It’s the first earnings report presented by Sawan since he took over as chief executive at the start of the year, replacing Ben van Beurden, who stepped down after nine years. Sawan also has reorganized the company’s core business units.

Sawan, who has worked for Shell for 25 years, was previously director of its integrated gas, renewables and energy solutions business. His appointment was seen as a part of Shell’s strategy to take what it calls a leading role in the energy transition despite criticism that it’s been slow to cut emissions.

Shell also is raising its dividend payout by 15% and buying back $4 billion worth of shares — moves that underline the tension between energy company shareholders seen as reaping big profits and consumers weighed down by higher costs for heating their homes and filling up their cars.

The results were “truly stunning” and “will do nothing to quieten demands for further windfall taxes to redistribute some of the bounty Shell has enjoyed this year thanks to the Ukraine-inspired disruption to global energy markets,” said Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, an investment service platform.

Russia’s war in Ukraine sent global energy prices surging, with natural gas prices in Europe hitting record levels last summer and oil hovering at $120 per barrel. They have since come down, but natural gas prices are still three times what they were before Russia massed troops on the Ukrainian border.

To ease the pain on households and consumers, the European Union and individual countries like Britain and Italy have imposed windfall taxes on energy companies, and U.S. President Joe Biden has raised the idea of a war profit tax.

Shell expected to pay an extra $2.3 billion in taxes to cover the EU and U.K. windfall levies for 2022. The company said it paid out $26 billion to shareholders last year in dividends and share buybacks.

“For the millions of people globally who are struggling with the high cost of energy or the impacts of the climate crisis, Shell reaping in record profits will rightly feel incredibly unfair,” said Alice Harrison of Global Witness, a nonprofit that advocates for environmental sustainability and corporate responsibility.

Global Witness filed a complaint Wednesday with U.S. regulators accusing the company of greenwashing. The group asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate whether Shell broke securities laws and misled investors about the extent of its renewable energy investments.

Global Witness says its analysis shows that 1.5% of Shell’s capital spending went to wind and solar power generation, compared with the 12% that the company claimed in its 2021 annual report.

Greenpeace activists have occupied a vessel in the North Sea transporting a Shell oil production platform to protest the environmental damage by fossil fuel companies. Four activists raised a banner that said “Stop Drilling, Start Paying,” according to photos posted online by Greenpeace this week.

Kelvin Chan, The Associated Press






News from © The Canadian Press, 2022. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • 0062 TED_EPAC_Technology_30
    0062 TED_EPAC_Technology_30
  • 0061 SIMSA 2024 For Sask Buy Sask
    0061 SIMSA 2024 For Sask Buy Sask
  • 0060 Arizona Lithium Lease building
    0060 Arizona Lithium Lease building
  • 0059 Southeast College Heavy Equipment Operator
    0059 Southeast College Heavy Equipment Operator
  • 0058 Royal Helium Steveville opens anonymous rocket
    0058 Royal Helium Steveville opens anonymous rocket
  • 9002 Pipeline Online 30 sec EBEX
    9002 Pipeline Online 30 sec EBEX
  • 0055 Smart Power Be Smart with your Power office
    0055 Smart Power Be Smart with your Power office
  • 0015 Latus Viro
    0015 Latus Viro
  • 0052 Predator Inspections
    0052 Predator Inspections
  • 0051 JML Hiring Pumpjack assembly
    0051 JML Hiring Pumpjack assembly
  • 0049 Scotsburn Dental soft guitar
    0049 Scotsburn Dental soft guitar
  • 0046 City of Estevan This is Estevan
    0046 City of Estevan This is Estevan
  • 0041 DEEP Since 2018 now we are going to build
    0041 DEEP Since 2018 now we are going to build
  • 0032 IWS Summer hiring rock trailer music
  • 0022 Grimes winter hiring
  • 0021 OSY Rentals S8 Promo
  • 0018 IWS Hiring Royal Summer
  • 0013 Panther Drilling PO ad 03 top drive rigs
  • 0011
  • 0006 JK Junior
  • 9001
  • 0002