– Refining margins nearly halve in Q3 from Q2
– LNG trading ‘significantly’ weaker
– Chemical margins crumble into negative territory
London — Shell (SHEL.L) said on Thursday its third-quarter profits would be pressured by a near halving of oil refining margins, crumbling chemical margins and weaker natural gas trading.
The British energy giant reported two consecutive quarters of record profits in the first half of the year amid soaring oil and gas prices, and stellar earnings from its trading operations, the world’s biggest. read more
But in the third quarter, indicative refining margins dropped to $15 a barrel compared with $28 a barrel in the previous three months, Shell said in an update ahead of its results on Oct. 27, amid growing concerns over a global economic slowdown.
And indicative margins for chemicals dropped to negative $27 per tonne versus a positive $86 in the second quarter after global demand for plastics slumped.
The drop in refining margins will have a negative impact of between $1 and $1.4 billion on the segment’s adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), Shell said.
Shell’s third quarter liquefied natural gas (LNG) and gas trading results are expected to be “significantly lower” due to lower seasonal demand as well as “substantial differences between paper and physical realisation in a volatile and dislocated market.”
Oil trading is expected to be in line with the previous quarter.
U.S. rival Exxon Mobil on Tuesday signaled strong third quarter operating profits as earnings from natural gas offset weaker refining and chemicals.
*Ron Bousso; editing: Jason Neely & Mark Potter – Reuters
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