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Reuters: Shell Canada profit triples on surging oil prices

Wed Jan 25, 2006 12:21 PM ET
CALGARY, Alberta, Jan 25 (Reuters) – Shell Canada Ltd.'s (SHC.TO: Quote, Profile, Research) fourth-quarter profit more than tripled as the country's No. 3 oil producer and refiner benefited from surging oil and gas prices as well as rich refining returns, it said on Wednesday.
Shell Canada, which is majority-owned by oil major Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSa.L: Quote, Profile, Research), earned C$614 million ($534 million), or 74 Canadian cents a share, up from year-earlier C$182 million, or 22 Canadian cents a share.
The company is the first among major Canadian energy firms to report results for a fourth-quarter widely expected to set records due to unprecedented commodity prices.
Cash flow, a glimpse into an oil company's ability to fund development, more than doubled to C$930 million from C$437 million. Revenues were C$4 billion, up from C$3.1 billion.
Shell, best known for its national gas station chain, said earnings were also driven by sharply higher volumes at its northern Alberta oil sands project.
Oil sands production in the quarter averaged 106,800 barrels a day net to Shell's 60 percent interest, up from year-earlier 65,900, when half the plant was down for repairs, it said.
Full-year profit rose to a company-record C$2 billion, or C$2.44 a share, up 50 percent from C$1.2 billion, or C$1.56 a share, in 2004.
Shell Canada shares were off 60 Canadian cents at C$44.65 on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Royal Dutch Shell owns 78 percent of its Canadian affiliate.
Early this year, in response to rampant market rumors, Shell Canada said it had no knowledge of a plan by its parent to buy out the minority stake.
($1=$1.15 Canadian)

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