Shell and BP bounce back into profit even as oil’s glory days fade

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Covid dealt fossil fuel giants a heavy blow, but demand is lifting revenues again in a last hurrah before decarbonisation

The world’s biggest oil companies are preparing to mark an end to the darkest year in the industry’s history with a return to profit that could be the last hurrah for fossil fuels. Royal Dutch Shell and BP are among the companies expected to report quarterly profits from producing oil for the first time since the outbreak of Covid-19.

The tentative reopening of the world’s economies has helped push international crude prices above $65 a barrel. They plunged to 21-year lows of less than $20 a barrel last year as major economies came to a standstill, triggering the sharpest slump in oil demand in the industry’s history.

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