MOSCOW (MRC) -- Royal Dutch Shell said that its earnings for the first quarter fell by 56 percent compared with a year earlier, as improved performance in marketing and refining failed to offset the effects of the plunge in oil prices, said the company in its press release.
The Anglo-Dutch company’s profit, adjusted for inventory changes and one-time items, was USD3.2 billion, compared with USD7.3 billion in the same period a year earlier. Still, the results beat analysts’ consensus forecasts, and Shell’s shares rose about 1.5 percent in morning trading in London.
But analysts said that there was cause for concern in Shell’s results. In an indication of how quickly a drop in oil prices can erode margins, the company said that its earnings from finding and producing oil and gas were USD675 million for the quarter, compared with USD5.7 billion a year earlier.
Shell said that the price it received for oil in the first quarter was 52 percent lower than the same period in 2014, while the price of natural gas fell by 27 percent. The fall in prices directly cut USD4.7 billion from earnings.
As MRC informed earlier, Royal Dutch Shell has completed a revamp and upgrade of its Singapore ethane cracker. The project increased production for the 800,000-tpy ethylene plant on Bukom Island by 20%. The ethylene and olefins unit is also integrated with Shell’s 500,000-bpd refinery.
Royal Dutch Shell plc is an Anglo-Dutch multinational oil and gas company headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands and with its registered office in London, United Kingdom. It is the biggest company in the world in terms of revenue and one of the six oil and gas "supermajors". Shell is vertically integrated and is active in every area of the oil and gas industry, including exploration and production, refining, distribution and marketing, petrochemicals, power generation and trading.