Oil giant Royal Dutch/Shell Group announced
record fourth quarter profits, after a more than twofold jump in oil prices
and as the benefits of its restructuring program continued to show through. Adjusted current cost net income soared by 173 percent to $2.235 billion in fourth quarter 1999, which was at the top end of analysts' forecasts, while net income of $2.582 billion compared with a loss of 3.739 billion the year before. Current cost net income for the full year rose 38 percent to $7.09 billion, after adjusting for special credits and charges.
Exploration and production provided the main profit boost, hitting $1,507 million in the fourth quarter compared with a loss of $1,906 million in 1998 as crude prices soared. North Sea Brent crude
prices averaged $17.95 per barrel in the fourth quarter, up from $11.15 in the same period of 1998.