Shell profits rise more than expected as prices rise


LONDON (AP) – Energy company Shell says its earnings rose more than expected in the third quarter as it benefited from higher market prices and an expansion into gas production.

Royal Dutch Shell said Thursday that its net income jumped to $4.1 billion from $1.4 billion a year earlier. The figure is above analyst forecasts for $3.7 billion.

Earnings calculated on a current cost of supplies basis, an industry-favored measure, rose to $4.1 billion from $2.8 billion.

Shell has tried to boost its production of natural gas, a less polluting form of fossil fuel than crude oil, through the acquisition last year of BG Group. The results reflected that, with earnings up 40 percent in natural gas.

CEO Ben Van Beurden said the figures are “further evidence of Shell’s growing momentum.”