FRANCE: Shell makes £430 a second

Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell will this week report a record profit of about $13.7bn (£6.9bn) for the first half of the year - equal to more than £430 a second - as soaring oil prices have boosted its coffers.

The 10 per cent profit rise comes as motorists face paying more than £1 a litre for petrol - and, with Goldman Sachs warning this week that oil prices could rise to $95 a barrel compared with last week's $77, prices could rise still further.

This is partly due to a surge in demand from China and other emerging markets: the International Energy Agency last week warned there could be shortages in supply up until 2012.

While rival BP is expected to suffer a fall in profits due to production falls, and has been distracted by management turmoil, it will still make close to $9bn in the first six months of the year, or £284 a second.

The huge profits are expected to spark protests. Luke Bosdet, spokesman for the AA, said: 'Motorists feel they are hostage to whims of the industry.'

Via: The Guardian
by Heather Connon