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Shell dishes out bonuses after huge profits while energy crisis hits Britons’ pockets

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Shell dishes out bonuses after huge profits while energy crisis hits Britons’ pockets

SHELL is passing on some of its record profits to its staff in a one-off bonus, but claimed it was “not a response” to cost of living crisis spurred on by high energy prices.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said that it was “immoral” for oil and gas firms to profit from the invasion of Ukraine, adding that the “grotesque greed is punishing the poorest”.

By ALEKS PHILLIPS

Most of the energy giant’s 82,000 staff worldwide will get an 8 percent boost, after the company doubled its profits in the past three months alone to £9.4billion. Fossil fuel companies have been accused of profiteering from a crisis.

It comes as energy bills are expected to soar to well over £3,000 this winter, with the increase in energy costs being seen as the “main driver” of inflation.

Shell said top executives will be excluded. Its CEO, Ben van Beurden, currently makes an estimated £6.2million.

In the first three months of the year, Shell made $9.1billion (£7.4billion) as the commodity price shot up amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Rather than sharing profits with consumers, the company is expected to shell out £6.5billion to shareholders.

Earlier this week, BP reported a record profit for the last three months of $8.45billion (£6.9billion) – its highest in fourteen years.

The swelling profits of petrochemical giants have been fuelled by a dip in supply, as Western nations sanctioned Russian oil vendors and supply from Ukraine dried up – pushing wholesale prices higher.

But the higher prices have also meant that the price of energy and fuel for consumers has skyrocketed.

Last week, reports emerged that Ofgem is expected to lift the energy price cap higher in October, to £3,420 – three times what consumers were expected to pay at the start of the year.

But consultants have forecast that the average price could be far higher – anywhere between £3,600 and £3,850 – come January. In October last year, the average bill was just £1,400.

Shell said in a statement the bonus was “in recognition of the contribution our people have made to Shell’s strong operational performance against a recent challenging backdrop”.

It claimed that it had been awarded as a result of the company’s “financial success” and was “not a response to inflation or cost-of-living challenges”.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said that it was “immoral” for oil and gas firms to profit from the invasion of Ukraine, adding that the “grotesque greed is punishing the poorest”.

He has called for fossil fuel companies to face special taxes to limit their profits.

The Government has announced that homes in England, Scotland and Wales will receive £400 to help with rising fuel bills this autumn, to be paid in six installments from October.

But when energy bills are expected to head towards £4,000 a year by the start of 2023, the £67 a month will seem like a drop in the ocean to many.

The Energy Bill Support Scheme will also include a £650 payment to more than eight million of the lowest-income households.

In May, the Government also announced that fossil fuel firms would be made to pay an extra 25 percent on profits.

But this only applies to profits made in the UK, which consists of a small part of their operations. Neither will the legislation cover profits made between April and June.

Asked how he could justify the record profits as many in the UK face energy bills agony, Mr Van Beurden said last week: “We cannot perform miracles.

“I’m very mindful that is a difficult message to hear, but it is what it is”. He claimed only a “miracle” could help consumers.

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