BP, Shell gain over $10 billion each in Q3 net

Oil majors BP and Royal Dutch Shell Plc have unveiled record quarterly profits of $10 billion (a rise of 148 per cent) and $10.9 billion (a rise of 71 per cent, respectively, boosted by high oil prices and asset sales.

BP, which reported a 148 per cent rise in third quarter net profit at $10 billion (£6.4 billion), was also at the centre of a big controversy of profiteering amidst signs of a global slowdown. Critics also renewed calls for fuel price controls and windfall taxes on oil companies.

BP, however, argues that it is already the nation's biggest taxpayer and that its dividend payout is less than 10 per cent of the profit and that it uses its profits to invest in new sources of alternative energy.

BP said it had paid over $5 billion as taxes in the UK alone over the past three years and including excise duty and VAT on fuel, the total would rise to almost £21 billion.

Shell said its current cost of supply (CCS) net profit jumped 71 per cent to $10.9 billion in third quarter. CCS result excludes unrealised gains or losses related to changes in the value of fuel inventories and included a net gain of $2.06 billion due to non-operating items, mainly related to the sale of a German gas network.

Even excluding non-operating items, the CCS net profit was $8.84 billion, compared with just over $4 billion for the same quarter last year.