Skip to main content

News release: Shell announces 54% increase in profits to €21.8 billion

News release -Issued by Shell to Sea - Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

-- Company enjoyed €12.7 million tax credit in Ireland in 2011--

Shell today announced profits of €21.8 billion for 2011, which represents a 54% increase on the €14.1 billion they made in 2010. Despite the global slowdown, increased oil prices are given as the reason for Shell's increased profits.[1] 

However, despite the massive profits being made by Shell, the Irish Government continues to give millions of tax credits every year to Shell. In 2011, Shell received €12.7million in tax credits and has already received over €100 million in total in relation to the Corrib Gas project [2]. In 1987, then Minister for Energy Ray Burke introduced a 100% tax write-off against all exploration and development costs, which so far for the Corrib Gas project is estimated at €2.35 billion [3]. 

Shell to Sea spokesperson Maura Harrington said: “It is absolutely immoral, that as Shell continue to announce obscene profits, that the current oil and gas terms are allowed to remain. Shell's only argument for Corrib, is that it will give Ireland 'security of supply'. However, this requires that Ireland bids against buyers in other countries and pay the full international rate. If the international price of gas were to double over the next decade, then the price that Irish consumers pay for gas will double. In the current economic situation, the Irish State will be forced to borrow money to buy back gas that was given to Shell for free.”[4] 

She continued “The race to plunder Ireland's oil and gas is now well under-way, as can be seen in both Dalkey and with the proposed fracking in Leitrim and Fermanagh. It is time for people to realise that thanks to Ray Burke and Bertie Ahern, it doesn't matter where the oil companies find the oil and gas, we don't own it. The present Fine Gael/Labour is continuing on with this giveaway and have handed out more licences this year."

In a July 2011 report, the Commission for Energy Regulation warned that when gas from Corrib comes ashore, it was “very likely” to lead to an increase in the price of gas for Irish consumers. [5]


[1] Shell profits up 54% on firm oil prices - Terry MacAlister - The Guardian

[2] Final cost of Corrib Gas project set to be close to €3 billion – Gordon Deegan – Irish Times

[3] Shell puts extra €90m into Irish subsidiary – Gordon Deegan – Irish Times

[4] Just how bad is Ireland's Oil and Gas deal – Shell to Sea

[5] Corrib gas could push up prices – ‘Sunday Business Post’


Maura Harrington                       
Terence Conway               !/ShellToSea

The Shell to Sea Campaign has three main aims:

1) That any exploitation of the Corrib gas field be done in a safe way that will not expose the local community in Erris to unnecessary health, safety and environmental risks.

2) To renegotiate the terms of the Great Oil and Gas Giveaway, which sees Ireland’s 10 billion barrels of oil equivalent* off the West Coast go directly to the oil companies, with the Irish State retaining a 0% share, no energy security of supply and only 25% tax on profits against which all costs can be deducted.

3) To seek justice for the human rights abuses suffered by Shell to Sea campaigners due to their opposition to Shell’s proposed inland refinery.
*This figure is based on the estimate, issued by the Department of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources (DCENR) in 2006, that the amount of recoverable oil and gas in the Rockall and Porcupine basins, off Ireland’s west coast, is 10 BBOE (billion barrels of oil equivalent). Based on the average price of a barrel of oil for 2010 of $79, this works out at $790 billion, or €580 billion. This does not take account of further oil and gas reserves off Ireland’s south & east coasts or inland. The total volume of oil and gas which rightfully belongs to Ireland could be significantly higher. Also, as the global price of oil rises in the coming years, the value of these Irish natural resources will rise further.