"The Government have clearly sent the message to Shell, ‘you can do whatever you want’. Fortunately due to protest, the refinery remains unconnected to the gas field. If, as Shell planned, gas had been flowing by now, we would potentially all be dealing with a gas leak and explosion.”
Oil prices lift Shell to new record
3.5 million Euros spent on policing for Shell since October Thursday, 1 February 2007 08:22
Royal Dutch Shell has reported another profits record, after higher oil prices lifted its annual earnings to $25.36 billion.
The figure, which is 21% higher than a year earlier, included a better than expected performance in the final three months of the year, when the company's earnings figure rose 11% to $6.01 billion.
The recent fall in the price of oil means analysts are expecting the year ahead to be much tougher for Shell, particularly as it will be under increasing pressure to find new sources of oil.
While the fourth quarter profit was up on a year earlier, it was still lower than the $6.95 billion reported in the previous three months, as oil prices have eased by about 30% since hitting $77 a barrel in August.
Today's results mean Shell generated profits of almost $1.5m an hour.
With increased focus on production, Shell said fourth quarter output was 3.65 million barrels of oil equivalent a day, compared with 3.5 million a year ago and despite the impact of unusually low seasonal gas demand in northern Europe.
Production from Shell's Nigerian operations was 191,000 barrels down on a year ago, due to security concerns in the country's Western Delta.
The company's long-term production worries have been compounded by the loss of some of its interests in the Sakhalin-2 gas project to Russia's Gazprom.
The results were issued as figures showed that the Garda presence at the Shell refinery site in Bellanaboy, Co Mayo, has cost €3.5m since last October. The figures were supplied by the Minister for Justice to Mayo independent TD Jerry Cowley.