Manchester Evening News (UK): Shell's £1.6m an hour: “OIL giant Shell today announced it is making profits of £1.6 million every hour - as soaring petrol prices raise the threat of more fuel protests.” (ShellNews.net) 28 April 05
OIL giant Shell today announced it is making profits of £1.6 million every hour - as soaring petrol prices raise the threat of more fuel protests.
The company published figures for the first quarter of this year, saying its income had risen by 42 per cent to £3.5bn in the period.
Motoring organisations reacted with anger to the figures, which come as motorists in some parts of the country are being charged more than 90p for a litre of unleaded.
Earlier this week campaign group Farmers For Action (FFA) targeted Shell's oil refinery in Stanlow, near Ellesmere Port, joined by road haulage groups, who also want a cut in fuel duty.
David Handley from FFA said: "These profits are becoming obscene. Even though they have to pay high taxes it just goes to show that by charging us a mint at the pumps, they are making a huge profit.
"The government should set up a watchdog for the oil industry."
Shell reported the biggest annual profits in British corporate history in February. Announcing the new figures, the company said production for the quarter was at the higher end of expectations.
But a spokeswoman said the company had made a loss on petrol sales in the first quarter due to the higher cost of buying crude oil on the open market. She refused to give figures.
She said: "People are paying an awful lot for fuel but prices before taxes in this country are among the lowest in Europe and also the world."
Mr Handley confirmed that the campaign group was considering further action. Members of the Road Haulage Association are in the planning stages for protests next Tuesday.
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