Royal Dutch Shell reported a near 50 percent rise in quarterly profits, driven by strong refining, while solid cash generation underscored the oil and gas company has adapted well to a world of low oil price. Laura Frykberg reports.
Taking the weight off investor's shoulders. Royal Dutch Shell reporting an almost 50 percent rise in quarterly profits. The strong results attributed to austerity and sell offs. To help it fend off the affect of lower oil prices. (SOUNDBITE) (English) GLOBAL FINANCIAL ECONOMIST, COMMERZBANK, PETER DIXON, SAYING: "It certainly looks as though the savage cost cutting put in place by these companies over the course of recent years to deal with the collapse in oil prices is beginning to pay off. " Also paying off - Shell's chemicals segment. Which had a 20 percent profit increase from a year earlier. And the tripling of profits in its refining segment, in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Shell isn't the only oil giant generating profit, despite the price dip. This week BP said it's able to balance its books this year, even if oil falls to $49 per barrel. Currently it's just over 60. (SOUNDBITE) (English) GLOBAL FINANCIAL ECONOMIST, COMMERZBANK, PETER DIXON, SAYING: "Whether oil prices can stay at current levels is more questionable but nonetheless the big oil companies are in a much better place to deal with any modest declines in lower oil prices than they were or three years ago." The oil downturn - caused by oversupply - saw prices dip to record lows. Forcing many companies to shave costs in order to keep afloat. In another sign that method has worked for Shell.. Last week it won half the blocks awarded in Brazil's deepwater oil auction.