Shell has joined the ranks of other Big Oil majors who reported supersized profits on higher oil and gas prices, reporting $6.4 billion in net income for the final quarter of 2021.
Earnings for the full year soared to $19.29 billion, up from $4.8 billion for 2020, Shell said.
Shell also boasted a reduction in net debt, by $23 billion to $52.6 billion during the reporting period.
Earlier data from Shell released last month revealed that oil trading had slowed down during the fourth quarter of 2021, but gas trading flourished amid the surge in demand and tight supply of the commodity in some parts of the world.
"2021 was a momentous year for Shell," said chief executive Ben van Beurden. "We launched our Powering Progress strategy and simplified our share structure and organisation. Progress made in 2021 will enable us to be bolder and move faster. We have a compelling strategy, with customers at its core. We have ambitious plans to generate shareholder value, to decarbonise our products and to provide energy to our customers while respecting nature."
Thanks to the robust financial results, Shell said it would buy back another $8.5 billion worth of stock during the first half of the year and raise dividends yet again, by 4 percent for the first quarter of 2022.
The former Anglo-Dutch major who last year dropped its Dutch headquarters to become a fully British-based company, benefited like its peers from higher oil prices even though it shrunk its core operations after a Dutch court ordered it to sharply reduce its carbon footprint.
As part of these efforts, Shell sold its assets in the Permian Basin, bringing in $5.5 billion, which it will now use to buy back stock. Also as part of its transformation efforts, the supermajor simplified its share structure from a two-tier into a one-tier one.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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