ROTTERDAM - Oil and gas conglomerate Shell booked a record profit of 42.3 billion dollars (38.4 billion euros) in 2022. That is more than double the net profit earned a year earlier. The British company benefited from the high oil and gas prices last year due to the war in Ukraine.
Shell's publication of figures is the first under the leadership of new CEO Wael Sawan. He succeeded Dutch businessman Ben van Beurden at the beginning of this year. Sawan, who is Lebanese-Canadian, said in a statement that the results "show the strength of Shell's broad portfolio, as well as the company's ability to provide important energy in a troubled world."
In the last quarter of 2022, the company achieved a net profit of $10.4 billion. In the second quarter, profit peaked at $18 billion. Shell’s total revenue for 2022 topped $386 billion, up from $272.6 billion a year earlier. For the fourth quarter, revenues exceeded $101 billion.
Shell also announced it would buy back another $4 billion of its shares. It will also increase the dividend.
American industry peer ExxonMobil announced earlier this week that it booked a record $56 billion in profit for 2022. That led to criticism from the United States government that oil companies are making exorbitant profits at the expense of consumers. They’re doing too little to lower prices at the pump while their executives and shareholders fill their pockets. Critics in Europe also accuse oil companies of profiting from the war in Ukraine.
In 2020, Shell suffered billions in losses when oil prices plummeted due to the coronavirus pandemic. But oil companies are doing good business again due to the strong increase in demand for oil since the global economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis. On the stock exchange in Amsterdam, Shell shares have risen sharply since the pandemic.
On Wednesday, climate activists demanded that the American stock market watchdog SEC investigate Shell. According to Global Witness, the Shell group projected “its financial investments in renewable energy sources” considerably higher than it was allowed to. Shell also includes things like energy trading, CO2 capture and storage, and hydrogen production in its reporting on energy from renewable sources. That is misleading, Global Witness said, accusing the oil and gas giant of greenwashing. The company presents itself as much more environmentally friendly than it actually is, Global Witness said.