Shell was today accused of making "obscene" profits at a time when pensioners, motorists and industry are struggling with higher energy prices when it unveiled annual earnings of $27.6bn.
The oil major has made British corporate history with the record figures, which are equivalent to more than ($3 an hour) and come at the end of a three month period when crude prices have averaged over $90 a barrel.
Jeroen van der Veer, chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell, described the performance as "satisfactory" and admitted that overall production for the year had actually dropped 2%.
He said the company had benefited from launching new oil and gas projects but had suffered in the last quarter from weak refining margins.
"We are proceeding with the rejuvenation of our portfolio with investment in new legacy assets and through disposals. The execution of our strategy is on track."
But Tony Woodley, joint general secretary of Unite the union, Britain's largest trade union said a windfall tax should be imposed on "greedy" companies such as Shell whose profits are more than four times higher than retailer, Tesco.
"Shell shareholders are doing very nicely whilst the rest of us, the stakeholders, are paying the price and struggling," said Mr. Woodley. "Record profits of over thirteen and a half billion pounds at Shell and cumulative oil industry profits in excess of fifty billion in the last three years are, quite frankly, obscene. It is time the government acted."
Thursday, January 31, 2008
Shell's Profits Called "Obscene", Shell Exec Promises to Do Better
The Guardian (UK) reports on the record profits the oil companies are making. Nevertheless, Shell's CEO is promising investors he's working on plans to keep increasing their slice of the pie. Too much is never enough.