Shell results kick off weak quarter for oil

Weaker prices for oil worldwide and for gas in North America took their toll on Royal Dutch Shell profits in the second quarter.

Netherlands based Shell, the second largest of the western world oil majors behind Exxon Mobil which reports results later on Thursday, said earnings in the period fell to around $6bn (£3.8bn) from $8bn a year ago on a current cost of supply basis.

Adjusted for special items, the result was lower still, at $5.7bn down from $6.6bn. The result undershot analysts' predictions of around $6.3 billion.