Thursday, July 31, 2008
Royal Dutch Shell, Europe’s largest oil company, reported a 33 percent increase in second-quarter profit Thursday, helped by a higher oil price even as production declined.
Like smaller rival BP earlier this week, Shell profited from an oil price that almost doubled in the second quarter from the year earlier but a 13 percent drop from a record on July 11 raised some concern among investors about whether oil companies can keep up the pace of earnings growth.
BP said earlier a higher oil price started to affect consumer demand for its gasoline, which declined as much as 10 percent in the United States and Europe.
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Shell’s profit rose to $11.56 billion from $8.67 billion in the same period last year. BP reported a 28 percent increase in profit earlier this week and Italian oil company Eni said Thursday profit in the second quarter rose 52 percent, citing a higher oil price.
Shell’s shares have fallen 12.5 percent this year. That compares with a 14.7 percent drop of BP’s stock and a 9.9 percent decline for Exxon Mobil, the world’s biggest energy company.