Royal Dutch Shell Plc said on April 7 it expected its first-quarter adjusted earnings to see a hit of up to $200 million due to an extreme cold snap in Texas in the quarter.
Shell, the world’s biggest fuel retailer, also believes fuel sales will fall or at best be broadly steady for the first quarter, indicating fuel demand recovery has remained slow amid coronavirus restrictions.
In an update ahead of first-quarter results due April 29, Shell said it expects refined oil product sales at 3.7 million-4.7 million bbl/d for the first quarter compared with just under 4.8 million bbl/d in the last quarter of 2020. It had previously forecast sales of 4 million-5 million bbl/d.
Refinery utilization rates in the quarter stood at 71%-75%, compared with a forecast of 73%-81%.
Shell’s refining margins have improved to around $2.6/bbl in the quarter from $1.6 in the previous quarter.
In gas, Shell said it expected trading results to be “significantly below average.”
Shell sees its first-quarter LNG production at 7.8-8.4 million tonnes, compared with 8.2 million in the previous quarter and a forecast of 8 million-8.6 million tonnes.
Total upstream production was expected to rise to 2.4 million-2.48 million boe, at the lower end of the forecasted range, from 2.37 million in fourth-quarter 2020.
An extreme cold snap in Texas is expected to have shrunk its output by 10,000-20,000 bbl/d and to shave up to $200 million from its adjusted first-quarter earnings.
Benchmark crude prices in the first quarter rose around 24% and were trading near $63/bbl on April 7.
(Reporting by Shadia Nasralla)
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