Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell's quarterly profit for the final quarter of 2012 missed expectations, as the company stuggles to replace its oil and gas reserves as it pushes ahead with plans to produce more. Andrew Potter reports
Oil giant Shell has disappointed investors with its results for the final quarter of 2012. Profits fell by 6 percent, while earnings were up 13 percent. But Shell CEO Peter Voser says the company is on track, and plans to increase its dividend by 4.7 percent in the first quarter of this year, while investing $33 billion. SOUNBITE (English) SHELL CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, PETER VOSER, SAYING: "We are in the long-term energy business and we have seen now tha t our investments over the past few years are now paying out. We have increased our cash flow to $46 billion and we have more opportunities now going into the next few years to deliver the growth. So actually what we are spending is coming through, and hence you also see a reflection in the dividend of that." Despite this, investors are concerned about Shell's struggle to replace its reserves of oil and gas, as it pushes ahead with plans to boost production. Voser says the company has it covered. SOUNBITE (English) SHELL CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, PETER VOSER, SAYING: "We are moving in the right direction. More important is actually there'll be, through exploration we added potentially four billion barrels of reserves into our total resource pocket whilst we are producing just 1.2 billion. So we're adding more than what we are producing for the longer term. And I think that's an important message." Shell is the world's number two in oil heavyweights, only behind Exxon Mobil. And it says it plans to keep up its investment strategy despite uncertain economic times.