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Shell reports record profits as energy prices soar after Russia's invasion of Ukraine

Activists from Greenpeace set up a mock-petrol station price board displaying the Shell's net profit for 2022.
Daniel Leal
/
AFP via Getty Images
Activists from Greenpeace set up a mock-petrol station price board displaying the Shell's net profit for 2022.

LONDON — Energy giant Shell has reported its highest annual profits in the company's 115-year history, after energy prices soared due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

London-based Shell's profits for 2022 were almost $40 billion, twice those reported for 2021, at a time of continued political debate about more targeted taxation on energy companies.

As U.K. households struggle thanks to elevated energy prices and correspondingly high inflation, Shell's announcement will fuel fresh demands that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's government ratchet up a kind of "windfall" tax on such profits. The E.U. approved such a windfall tax in September.

Opposition parties in Britain have long insisted on further taxation of the energy sector, calling Shell's latest profits "outrageous." Shell says it doesn't expect to pay any U.K. tax this year, as it will offset investments and certain costs against its U.K. profits.

Critics are also demanding the government continue to hold down household energy costs past April, a program underwritten by taxes on energy firm profits.

Energy companies have been reporting blockbuster profits since last year, after Russia's invasion of Ukraine sent oil prices sharply higher, as NPR's Camila Domonoske reported earlier this week.

This originally appeared in NPR's Newscast.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Willem Marx
[Copyright 2024 NPR]