By Shadia Nasralla
LONDON (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell (LON:) expects its fuel sales to fall or at best be broadly steady for the first quarter as some coronavirus restrictions ease, the world’s biggest fuel retailer said in a trading update on Wednesday.
Shell said it saw refined oil product sales at 3.7-4.7 million barrels per day (bpd) for the first quarter compared with just under 4.8 million bpd in the last quarter of 2020.
Shell’s refining margins have improved to around $2.6 per barrel in the quarter from $1.6 in the previous quarter.
In liquefied business (LNG) trading, where it is a global leader, Shell said it expected results to be “significantly below average”.
Shell sees its first-quarter LNG production at 7.8-8.4 million tonnes, compared with 8.2 million in the previous quarter.
Total upstream production was expected to rise to 2.4-2.48 million barrel of oil equivalent from 2.37 million in the fourth quarter of 2020.
An extreme cold snap in Texas is expected to have shrunk its output by 10,000-20,000 bpd and to shave up to $200 million from its adjusted first-quarter earnings, due to be reported on April 29.
Benchmark crude prices in the first quarter rose around 24% and were trading near $63 a barrel on Wednesday.
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