Sign from a Shell gas station
Sign from a Shell gas station - 
Listen To The Story


Stacey Vanek-Smith: Oil prices are also down this morning. That on worries that the global economy is going to take its sweet time. A barrel of crude is $77.77 this morning. That's roughly 40 percent below what it was this time last year. That's been very hard on oil companies.

Shell earnings came out a bit earlier. The Anglo-Dutch oil giant saw third quarter profits drop 62 percent. And said the future isn't necessarily looking so bright. Marketplace's Stephen Beard has more.

Stephen Beard: Analysts had forecast a big drop in profits for Shell. Nevertheless the stock market still found today's results disappointing. Because they failed to deliver the pleasant surprise served up by BP earlier this. BP's figures were much better-than-expected figures.

Nick McGregor is an oil analyst with brokers, Redmayne Bentley. He says BP is a special case. It began cutting its costs much sooner than Shell.

Nick McGREGOR: All of the oil majors got fat in the good times and have started to try and trim down their cost base. And BP is at a much more advanced stage of that process.

Shell is trying to catch up, however. The company says it will have shed 5,000 jobs -- 5 percent of the total workforce -- by the end of this is year.

In London this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.