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.
Bankruptcy filings by U.S. energy producers so far this year have already nearly matched the total for the whole of 2018, law firm Haynes & Boone reported on Aug. 14.
The independent E&P focused on the Eagle Ford joins a growing list of companies filing bankruptcy.
The parties must now renegotiate a deal that would transfer Breitburn's Permian reserves to investors including Elliott and WL Ross through their participation in a $775 million rights offering.