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Shell Warns Of Big Drop In Gas Trading Results

By Donna Ahern
Shell Warns Of Big Drop In Gas Trading Results

Shell, the world's biggest liquefied natural gas (LNG) trader, said on Friday second-quarter gas trading results were expected to come in 'significantly lower' quarter-on-quarter, though in line with the previous two years' second quarters.

Wholesale gas prices were volatile in April-June, driven by maintenance in key supplier Norway, where Shell unexpectedly extended an outage at its Nyhamna processing plant.

Shell cited 'seasonality and fewer optimisation opportunities' as reasons for its lower gas trading result.

The company does not provide figures for its gas trading results or say what proportion of its business it accounts for.

Trading Figures 


The benchmark front-month Dutch gas contract last traded at €32.90 per megawatt hour, down from above €100 last year - including a spike to over €300 in August - and €70 at the start of this year.

Shell shares were up around 0.5% at 1234 GMT, lagging a European index of oil and gas companies, which was up 0.7%.

"Shell's trading update included a number of operational indicators which were broadly in line with our forecasts," said RBC equity analyst Biraj Borkhataria in a note.

"Weaker trading across oil and gas which should be expected by the market given lower gas prices and the seasonality of Shell's LNG portfolio."

Lower Seasonal Demand


Shell’s trading typically generates smaller profits in the second quarter due to lower seasonal demand.

The company added that trading performance in its chemicals and products business was also expected be lower than in the first quarter, with the indicative refining margin forecast to drop to $9 a barrel from $15 a barrel.

US rival Exxon also guided to lower refining margins this week.

In an update ahead of second-quarter results on 27 July, Shell also flagged $3 billion in write-downs for the quarter, primarily driven by a 1% increase in the discount rate used for impairment testing.

This is an accounting move to reflect a higher-interest rate environment, a spokesperson said.


Read More: Shell Boosts Dividend, Steadies Oil Output In New CEO Plan

News by Reuters, edited by Donna Ahern, Checkout. For more supply chain news, click here. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.

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