Royal Dutch Shell Plc (NYSE: RDS.A) said Jan. 31 that crude trading boosted its fourth-quarter profits to a four-year high even as oil prices collapsed.
Benchmark Brent oil prices collapsed from a four-year high of $86 in early October to a low of $50 a barrel within weeks.
Shell is the world’s largest oil trader, buying and selling over 10 million barrels a day. The trading operations often help oil producers offset large swings in oil prices and in some cases can generate large profits.
Shell said that its trading operations in the previous three quarters were weak. For the year, trading of refined products such as gasoline and diesel was weaker in 2018 compared to the previous year, while crude oil trading was stronger and LNG trading gave a further boost, Shell said in its results.
The trading results, which the company did not disclose in detail, were boosted by the Anglo-Dutch firm’s positions in Oman and Brazil, two of its large oil production hubs, CFO Jessica Uhl said.
Genel Energy named oil veteran and COO Bill Higgs as its top executive. Outgoing CEO Murat Özgül will remain with the oil and gas company as a special adviser to the board.
First production from the Seagull oil and gas field being developed by Neptune, BP and Japex in the British North Sea is expected by late 2021.
Vitol said its traded crude and products volumes rose to 7.4 million barrels per day last year, up from 7.2 million in 2017.