Shell projects strong gas trading in first quarter

Shell PLC’s (AS:SHEL) first quarter gas trading will resemble the results posted in the final three months of 2022, the oil major said in an update on Thursday.

In the statement, Europe’s biggest oil and gas company predicted that trading and optimization at its key integrated gas division would be “at a similar level” compared to the fourth quarter.

Shell also forecast that quarterly production at the unit would be in the range of 930,000 to 970,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, up from 917,000 in the prior three months.

Integrated gas, which includes the world’s largest natural gas trading operations, reported $6 billion in adjusted earnings in the fourth quarter, thanks largely to soaring energy prices caused by the outbreak of the war in Ukraine.

These prices have since moderated from the surges seen in 2022, although both U.S. crude and Brent benchmarks have gained this week following a surprise decision by OPEC and its allies – including Russia – to slash output.

Analysts at RBC said the statement looked “positive overall” for Shell given concerns over the impact of weaker gas prices on the 115-year-old business.

Shares in Shell moved higher in early trading on Thursday.

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