Shell annual profit hits record $42 billion

Shell net profit surged to a record $42.3 billion last year, the British energy giant said Thursday, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sent oil and gas prices soaring.

The post-tax figure was more than double the amount achieved in 2021, the group’s earnings statement revealed.

Shell said it would return $4 billion to shareholders and significantly lift its dividend following the record earnings.

“Our results in the fourth quarter and across the full year demonstrate the strength of Shell’s differentiated portfolio, as well as our capacity to deliver vital energy to our customers in a volatile world,” the group’s new chief executive Wael Sawan said in the earnings statement.

Shell is looking to reinvent itself under the company’s former renewables boss Sawan, who replaced Ben van Beurden in the top seat at the start of the year.

Despite increasingly presenting themselves as greener companies with countries slowly shifting towards a carbon net-zero world, fossil fuel production remains key to powering the global economy over the next two decades.

Shell rival BP on Monday said while a worldwide transition away from fossil fuels could be accelerated by the Ukraine-Russia war, it added in a report that “oil continues to play a major role in the global energy system for the next 15-20 years”.

The invasion a year ago of Ukraine by its neighbour Russia sent oil and gas prices rocketing.

Russia is a major producer of fossil fuels and the war resulted in slashed supplies. — Agence France-Presse