Shell Q1 beats forecast on higher prices

by Dagmark Garcia | Thursday, Apr 26, 2012 | 425 views

Beating forecasts , Royal Dutch Shell  reported a eleven percent  growth in the quarterly profits . With the rise in oil prices and ramping up of new projects overshadowed the impact due to the lower gas prices in the U.S .

The largest oil firm of Europe as regards market capitalization is concerned , reported that  the CSS or the current cost of supply net income , industry’s measure of profit , rose to $7.66 billion a rise by eleven percent .

The shares of Shell rose by 2.9 percent on the London exchange against the 1.6 percent  rise in the oil and gas area.

Shell also raised its targets for asset sales for the year 2012 to $4 billion up from the $2-3 billion , going by the industry trend  where companies are churning up their portfolios very regularly . By letting out the mature assets at an early stage of the life cycle , companies are hoping to focus the reserves on high growth activities.

However analysts are rather skeptic on the issue of Shell making returns they dis on historic projects in the projects in the future.

The production for the first quarter rose by 1.4 percent compared to the year earlier quarter at 3.55 million barrels of oil equivalents . This was also a result of the increase in the production of the new facilities at Pearl in Qatar which specializes in converting natural gas into motor fuel.

The average prices in the last quarter for Brent crude were at $118.60 per barrel up from the year before prices of $105.43 . The prices for natural gas in U.S have come down to historic lows with the explosions of shale gas production made the supplies go to all time high. Although there was a little offset because of the strong prices for natural gas in Asian markets after the shutting down of the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan.

The refining division however produced weak underlying results even though there were improvements in the overall refining margins in the industry.

The management expected that the weakness in the division would continue for sometime and also that the low prices for natural gas in U.S  markets would continue to eat into the profits.

If the one-offs are excluded , the results showed a sharp rise of  16 percent up to $7.27 billion against the forecasts of $6.70 billion. The rivals ConocoPhilips had a week earlier , reported 1 % drop in the underlying assets in wake of the low natural gas prices in U.S .

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