Big Oil sees more profits for 2017 on rising oil prices

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Royal Dutch Shell and the world’s other leading oil companies have disclosed increases in profits last year as rising crude prices helped turn their fortunes around, Independent reports.

Shell’s net profit in the 4th Quarter tripled in 2017 from $1.8 billion to $4.3 billion. The full-year net profit, came in at $15.8 billion in 2017 — an increase of 119 percent from the year earlier. ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP, Statoil and Total also reported similar rising profits. French giant Total saw its bottom line jump by over a third, ExxonMobil’s fourth-quarter earnings rose nearly five-fold, Norway’s Statoil swung back into the black and BP’s profits soared.

The key to this success was the steady rise in crude prices over recent months, driven by a landmark deal between oil-producing countries both inside and outside the OPEC cartel to reduce the worldwide glut in supply by throttling output. Correspondingly, after falling from $115 per barrel in 2014 to under $35 at the start of 2016, oil prices have been rising, from an average $44 in 2016 to $54 in 2017 to nearly $70 this month.