Shell unveils ‘nauseating’ shareholder payout amid cost of living crisis

FUEL giant and energy firm Shell has come under fire from experts for announcing a $5.5billion pay out to shareholders amid a growing cost of living crisis.It comes as record wholesale gas prices and supply chain issues have put household finances under pressure, pushing up energy bills and petrol costs.
1Rising gas prices appear to be boosting Shell’s profitsCredit: Reuters
It means households have been plunged into a cost of living crisis in recent months – but Shell’s shareholders are set for a $5.5billion pay day.
The inflation rate has hit a decade-high of 5.1%, attributed to rising fuel and energy costs.
And some families have said they are choosing between heating and eating because of rising energy bills.
Record fuel prices have also been putting pressure on family finances.
The government is also being urged to step in to support the energy industry and households amid warnings that bills could rise further in the coming months due to higher wholesale market prices.
But rising gas prices appear to be boosting Shell’s profits.
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The FTSE 100-listed energy giant said in a fourth quarter update today that profits in its “integrated gas” division were expected to be “significantly higher” compared with a year before.
It announced it would return $5.5billion to shareholders from the sale of its Permian US shale business through share buybacks, a strategy agreed last year and unrelated to gas prices.
Shell’s profits are from its global operations rather than just in the UK.
But critics have questioned why companies such as Shell can’t do more to bring down energy supply and fuel costs if they are making so much profit from rising commodity prices.
Howard Cox, founder of the FairFuelUK, which campaigns for fairer petrol pump pricing, said: “It will nauseate millions of drivers, fleeced at the pumps by the current unscrupulous fuel supply chains, to see Shell rub even more fiscal salt into consumers’ skyrocketing cost o …