Shell Profits Dented By Refining Arm

Published February 2, 2012 8:54AM (EST)

AMSTERDAM (AP) — A marked deterioration in Royal Dutch Shell's refining operations contributed to a modest fall in fourth quarter profits at Europe's biggest oil company.

Over the previous year, Shell said its net profit fell 4.3 percent to $6.50 billion.

Though the company's production arm was helped by higher oil prices, its refining operations swung to a loss.

Production profits rose 29 percent to $6.57 billion despite a fall in production. Shell's "downstream" operations, which include its refining arm, lost $244 million, compared to profit of $411 million a year ago.

Chief executive Peter Voser said overall he was "satisfied" with the company's performance.

Shell will increase its quarterly dividend a cent to $0.43 in 2012.

By Salon Staff

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