Oil prices push Shell profits to 5bn

Royal Dutch Shell has seen a 22% rise in third-quarter profit, boosted by record oil prices earlier in the period. The company reported its profits jumped to £5bn for the period.

The news comes days after rival BP announced it had more than doubled third-quarter profits to £6.4bn. Later today, Exxon Mobil, the world’s largest energy company, is expected to report record third-quarter income of an estimated £7.4bn.

Conservatives and trades unionists hit out at the huge profits announced by BP, echoing similar attacks that followed energy companies’ profits earlier this year. Companies were criticised for reaping the benefits of soaring oil prices but not passing any benefits on to consumers. Oil prices reached a record high in July but have since slumped more than 50%, hit by turmoil in global financial markets.

Shadow Chancellor George Osborne says of BP’s third-quarter figures: “BP has absolutely no excuse for not passing on fuel price falls to consumers. It would be a scandal if they do not.”

Joint secretary of trade union Unite Tony Woodley says: “While the poor and vulnerable cannot make ends meet or heat their homes, the greedy oil companies are banking money faster than they can count it.”

Woodley renewed calls for the Government to hit energy companies with windfall taxes.

Shell has also announced that its chief financial officer Peter Voser (pictured) will take over as chief executive next July. Mr Voser succeeds Jeroen van der Veer, who is to retire after almost five years at the helm of the company.

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