Shell’s quarterly profit surges, LNG sales drop

Energy giant Shell reported a jump in adjusted earnings in the fourth quarter, while its LNG sales dropped when compared to the same period last year.

The LNG behemoth said its adjusted earnings reached $6.4 billion in the quarter, boosted by a rise in oil and gas prices. This compares to $389 million in the year before and $4.13 billion in the prior quarter.

Income attributable to Shell shareholders reached $11.5 billion and included non-cash gains of $3.2 billion due to the fair value accounting of commodity derivatives and net gains on sale of assets of $3 billion, Shell said.

Shell’s CEO Ben van Beurden said 2021 was a “momentous year” for Shell.

“We launched our Powering Progress strategy and simplified our share structure and organization. Progress made in 2021 will enable us to be bolder and move faster,” he said.

“We delivered very strong financial performance in 2021, and our financial strength and discipline underpin the transformation of our company. Today we are stepping up our distributions with the announcement of an $8.5 billion share buyback program and we expect to increase our dividend per share by around 4 percent for the first quarter of 2022,” van Beurden said.

LNG volumes and sales down

Shell sold 16.72 million tonnes of LNG in the October-December period, compared to 17.17 million tonnes in the same period last year, and 15.18 million tonnes in the prior quarter.

Liquefaction volumes also dropped year-on-year from 8.21 million tonnes to 7.94 million tonnes but they rose compared to the previous quarter of 7.39 million tonnes. Shell said the volumes rose 7 percent compared to the previous quarter due to higher feedgas supply and
overall lower maintenance activities.

For the entire year of 2021, LNG sales volumes dropped 11 percent to 64.20 million tonnes while liquefaction volumes declined 7 percent to 30.98 million tonnes.

Shell expects liquefaction volumes to be about 7.7 – 8.3 million tonnes in the first quarter.

As previously announced, Shell’s Integrated Gas segment reported a huge increase in earnings.

The segment earned $6.63 billion, compared to only $20 million in the same period a year ago and a loss of $3.24 billion in the prior quarter.

Adjusted earnings reached $4.05 billion, rising 141 percent from the previous quarter but also from $1.1 billion in the same period last year.

Compared with the prior quarter, Integrated Gas adjusted earnings primarily reflected significantly higher contributions from LNG trading and optimization, leveraging the scale and global reach of the Shell LNG portfolio, and higher realized prices for LNG, oil and gas, Shell said.

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