Shell profit drops on oil price, charges


World No. 2 oil company Royal Dutch Shell suffered a 15 percent fall in current cost of supply profits in the third quarter as the impact of lower crude prices, a fall in output and special charges outweighed stronger margins in refining.

Shell reported CCS net profit of $6.1 billion, down from $7.2 billion a year ago. Stripping out the charges based on an asset writedown for weak U.S. gas prices, UK tax changes and other factors, the result was $6.6 billion. Analysts had predicted a result of $6.3 billion.

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Production shut-ins in Nigeria due to security breaches there contributed to a fall in global liquids production of 5 percent. Gas output fell 4 percent.

Even accounting for these factors and other one offs, Shell's oil and gas output grew only 1 percent. The struggle for output growth has been a feature of the third quarter earnings season for all the top oil companies.

Shell said the net charge for the quarter, at $432 million against a net gain of $245 million a year earlier, also included $134 million for "legal and environmental provisions".

Shell paid out a third quarter dividend of 0.43 cents, unchanged from the second quarter and against 0.42 a year ago.

(Reporting by Andrew Callus; editing by Sarah Young)