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.
Oil major Exxon Mobil said Jan. 31 it would create three new separate E&P companies, effective April 1, in an effort to double its profit by 2025.
Production from Occidental Petroleum's Permian Basin unit rose 57% to 250,000 boe/d in the fourth quarter, boosted by its investments in the basin.
EQT agreed to settle with West Virginia landowners who sued the shale producer over royalty payments related to the construction of its Mountain Valley pipeline in the Marcellus and Utica.