Belfast Telegraph

Shell reaps rewards as fuel costs rise 48%

By Peter Cripps

Spiralling oil prices and strong demand for gas after the Fukushima nuclear disaster helped Shell double its profits between July and September.

Europe's largest oil company reported profits of $7.2bn (£4.5bn), up from $3.5bn (£2.2bn), at a time of continued fuel price misery for British motorists.

Shell has benefited from a 48% rise in oil prices - partly caused by unrest in the Middle East and North Africa - as well as a 2% increase in production, excluding asset sales.

Natural gas prices have risen nearly a third after the Fukushima nuclear disaster boosted demand as Japan sought alternative sources of power.

Yesterday's figures come two days after BP reported a three-fold increase in profits to $5.1bn (£3.2bn) for the three months to September.

The Hague-based group said its investments in big new projects including in Canada and Qatar were paying off, while the result was also boosted by stronger refining margins.

Earnings at its downstream business, which includes its petrol stations, increased by 24% to $1.8bn (£1.1bn).