>> Oil giant Shell is pumping out cash. The Anglo-Dutch firm beating out forecasts for the year. Profits jumping by more than a third to over $21 billion, a four-year high. That is despite a year of volatile oil prices, the value of crude slumping by around 40% in the fourth quarter.
Reuters Breakingviews' George Hay.>> Shell has managed to get its ducks in a row in terms of getting all its refineries on stream and firing at the same time. And that's allowed them to offset the impact of what was quit a big price fall in the fourth quarter.
>> Cost cutting also seems to be paying off. That's been the priority for Chief Executive Ben Van Beurden since 2014. Back then, he decided Shell needed to get fit for an era of lower oil prices. Now analysts are focused on the future, for all its wealth, will cheaper crude leave the firm struggling to invest enough?
>> With oil at $60 a barrel, that massive a cash pile is a lot smaller and, therefore, they have less to divert into new green technologies which will allow them to be sustainable in the long term.>> For now though, investors seem happy. Shell shares up almost 4% in London morning trade.
Results from US rivals, Exxon, Mobil, and Chevron due out Friday.