2 February 2023, London - Shell’s record 2022 profits of £33.1 billion, announced today, could pay this year’s energy bills for nearly half of all UK households.

Oil giant Shell today announced adjusted earnings of £8.1 billion for the fourth quarter of 2022 – bringing its yearly total to a record £33.1 billion, a 107 percentage jump over 2021.

This would be enough to pay the average annual energy bills for 13.2 million UK households – a remarkable 47 percentage of all households at a time when millions of Brits continue to face record gas and electricity bills.

Shell’s profits could also cover the £28 billion that the UK government estimates would be needed to give all public sector workers – including nurses, teachers, police and firefighters– raises in line with inflation.  UK inflation – like that which has afflicted much of the world – has been largely attributed to the same spikes in oil and gas prices that have driven Shell’s profits. 

Jonathan Noronha-Gant, Global Witness, Senior Campaigner, said:

“People have every right to be outraged at the enormous profits that Shell has made in the midst of an energy affordability crisis that has pushed millions of families into poverty. For those facing exorbitant energy bills, and for all of our nurses, firefighters and teachers on the picket line this week, Shell’s profits are an insult. Shell is richer because we’re poorer.” 

“If oil and gas companies were properly taxed, and if our government stopped handing them billions of pounds in the form of tax breaks and other subsidies – then that would free up the money that’s desperately needed to give Brits long-term support with the cost of their energy bills, and to give our key workers the financial recognition they deserve. But so far that hasn’t happened.” 

“So we have to ask ourselves – whose side is our government on? Are they on the side of those of us living in cold, draughty homes, or are they on the side of an industry that is riding the wave of the energy crisis in Europe and the war in Ukraine, and is wrecking the planet in the process? All in the name of enriching its shareholders.”  

Shell’s record haul comes as Global Witness has filed a complaint with the US Securities and Exchanges Commission, accusing the company of greenwashing. Despite Shell’s claims that 12 percent of its 2021 capital expenditure went to “renewables and energy solutions,” Global Witness found that the company spent only 1.5 percent on wind and solar power generation.”

Shell has responded to the complaint, saying it complies with its reporting requirements.