Shell profits double to $18.6bn

Business digest: Rising oil prices see profits at the multinational hit record highs

LAST UPDATED AT 09:35 ON Thu 3 Feb 2011

The oil company Shell has almost doubled its annual profits from $9.8bn to $18.6bn for 2010. The company, which last year invested heavily in exploration and acquisitions, made a profit of $5.6bn for the fourth quarter, up $4.5bn from the same time last year.

The results put Shell in line with their competitor BP, which reported a profit of $4.6bn for the fourth quarter. Although the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, which cost $40.9bn in damages, meant BP finished 2010 with an overall loss.

The cost of crude oil rose in the US by $13 a barrel last year, whilst in London, Brent crude hit its highest price since 2008, at $102 a barrel.

Rising prices are one of the key reasons behind Shell's 2010 success. Chief executive, Peter Voser, said he was pleased with the company’s progress, and that "there is still more to come."

Read a full report at the BBC.

  · 

For further concise, balanced comment and analysis on the week's news, try The Week magazine. Subscribe today and get 6 issues completely free.

Read more about