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The Independent: Shell reports £1.3m-an-hour profits

The Independent: Shell reports £1.3m-an-hour profits

By David Winning, PA City Staff

Published: 28 July 2005

The oil giant Royal Dutch Shell unveiled half-year profits of £5.84 billion today, as it posted its first results as a unified company.

The figure – equivalent to £1.3 million an hour – mirrors the profits of rival BP earlier this week, which established a new record for a UK company.

Shell said its profits were boosted by the oil price rising to record highs since January and it pledged to increase the amount of money spent on exploring for new oilfields to 1.8 billion US dollars (£1.03 billion) in both this year and next.

This extra injection of cash reflects concerns among investors that the oil giant is struggling to replace the oil it pumps out of the ground after downgrading its reserves five times over the past 18 months.

The Anglo-Dutch group swept aside 100 years of history with its unification last week – a move designed to eliminate the failings that led to the reserves fiasco.

Many shareholders blamed its historic structure of two sets of directors meeting separately in the UK and the Netherlands for contributing to the crisis.

The oil giant Royal Dutch Shell unveiled half-year profits of £5.84 billion today, as it posted its first results as a unified company.

The figure – equivalent to £1.3 million an hour – mirrors the profits of rival BP earlier this week, which established a new record for a UK company.

Shell said its profits were boosted by the oil price rising to record highs since January and it pledged to increase the amount of money spent on exploring for new oilfields to 1.8 billion US dollars (£1.03 billion) in both this year and next.

This extra injection of cash reflects concerns among investors that the oil giant is struggling to replace the oil it pumps out of the ground after downgrading its reserves five times over the past 18 months.

The Anglo-Dutch group swept aside 100 years of history with its unification last week – a move designed to eliminate the failings that led to the reserves fiasco.

Many shareholders blamed its historic structure of two sets of directors meeting separately in the UK and the Netherlands for contributing to the crisis.

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