LONDON – Energy giant Shale Oil reported record first-quarter earnings after rising prices, urging the British government to tax energy companies’ windfall incomes to help consumers cope with rising energy costs.
London-based Shell says consistent revenue – excluding one-time item and inventory price fluctuations – has risen from $ 3.2 billion to $ 9.1 billion in the same period last year. That beat analyst expects 8.2 billion.
High oil and gas prices, partly due to uncertain supply from Russia, are boosting the profits of major power companies and pushing up inflation around the world. In Britain, where families are experiencing the biggest drop in living standards on record, this has triggered a demand for special taxes on energy company earnings to help consumers.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday rejected a call for a windfall profit tax, saying it would reduce investment in Britain as the country seeks to diversify its energy industry and increase production from renewable sources. But after the Shell’s income report, the opposition parties increased the pressure.
Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davy said “refusing to pay taxes on energy companies’ super-profits when people are too scared to heat their homes is completely unforgivable.” “This one-time tariff will raise billions of pounds, which could now help vulnerable families with their energy bills. It’s a no-brainer. “
Brent crude, a benchmark for global oil prices, averaged 2 102.23 a barrel in the first quarter, up 67% from the same period last year.
The British media is full of stories about people being forced to skip meals or go into debt as they fight to heat their homes after a 54% increase in household energy prices took effect on 1 April. Even before this increase, inflation accelerated to a 30-year high of 7% in March.
Shell rival BP on Tuesday reported the highest quarterly profit in more than a decade. The London-based company said the consolidated revenue was $ 6.2 billion in the first quarter, up from $ 2.6 billion in the same period last year.
Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK, criticized the windfall profit tax for calling politicians “great”, noting that Shell last month announced plans to invest 25 25 billion ($ 31 billion) in renewable energy to create UK BP. This week the UK pledged to invest বিল 18 billion in energy.
“This is much more than a windfall tax increase and will probably be better spent,” Hewson said.
Shell said on Thursday it would charge $ 3.9 billion to cover the cost of the exit from Russia, which it had promised to do after the Ukraine invasion.
Net income for the first quarter, which includes such one-time items, rose to $ 7.3 billion from $ 5.8 billion in the same period last year.
“The war in Ukraine is first and foremost a humanitarian tragedy, but it has caused significant disruption to the global energy market and has shown that safe, reliable and affordable energy cannot be taken lightly,” said Ben Van Bourdain, CEO. . “We are engaged with the government, our customers and suppliers to work through competitive effects and to provide support and solutions wherever we can.”