Oil giant Shell likely to gain from rising energy prices despite hit from hurricane

Oil major Royal Dutch Shell has outlined the potential positive impact from soaring global energy prices but warned of a $400 million (£294m) hit from Hurricane Ida.

The group said the hurricane will knock its overall underlying earnings and cash flow from operations in the third quarter.

The storm slammed into a critical port that serves as the primary support hub for the Gulf of Mexico's deepwater offshore oil and gas industry in the US. This has combined with curtailed production to compound the recent spike in oil prices, with Brent crude hitting three-year highs above $80 a barrel, leading to higher prices at the pumps for motorists.

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Shell, which is led by chief executive Ben van Beurden, also pointed to rising global energy prices, which will see margins fluctuate significantly across its integrated gas cash flow from operations in the third quarter, but is not set to take its toll on earnings in the upstream division.

A general view archive picture of the Shell Exploration and Production offices in Aberdeen. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA

The update, which comes ahead of third-quarter results on October 28, set the scene for a year dominated by rising oil prices.

Shell, which remains a key North Sea player, said that over the full year, every $10 increase in the cost of Brent crude adds around $3 billion (£2.2bn) to upstream earnings and $1.1bn to integrated gas earnings.

Oil prices have soared amid rocketing demand as the global economy has rebounded from the early days of the pandemic, while oil cartel Opec has increased production slowly after deep cuts made last year as the crisis struck.

Shell's update also showed that the firm is expecting production for the third quarter of between 890,000 and 950,000 barrels of equivalent oil per day.

Analysts have warned that Britons could see their energy bills rise by 30 per cent next year.

Research agency Cornwall Insight has predicted further volatile gas prices and the potential collapse of even more suppliers could push the energy price cap to about £1,660 in summer.

The forecast is approximately 30 per cent higher than the record £1,277 price cap set for winter 2021-22, which commenced at the start of October.

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