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Friday January 26, 2018

In the latest edition of the Numbers Report, we’ll take a look at some of the most interesting figures put out this week in the energy sector. Each week we’ll dig into some data and provide a bit of explanation on what drives the numbers.

Let’s take a look.

1. Shell catching up with Exxon

(Click to enlarge)

- Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS.A) is expected to post $16 billion in earnings for 2017 when it reports financials next week, a figure that could eclipse ExxonMobil’s (NYSE: XOM) earnings of $15.7 billion. If so, it would be the first time Shell took in more profits than its American rival in more than two decades.
- Shell’s rise is largely the result of its purchase of BG Group, a $53 billion acquisition that is now paying off. The purchase gave Shell large LNG assets in Australia and offshore oil assets in Brazil.
- Shell’s shares have returned more than five times that of Exxon’s, notes Bloomberg, making it a better vehicle for investors than Exxon.
- Shell is closing the gap on Exxon in terms of market share. In early 2015, before the BG deal, Exxon’s market cap exceeded Shell’s by $180 billion. Shell has since close the gap to just $73 billion.
- Exxon’s production has eroded a bit while Shell’s is rising, suggesting the two will continue to converge. “At the moment we are number two and we are closing in on number…

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