Last updated: March 16. 2013 11:01PM - 98 Views

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(AP) Royal Dutch Shell PLC says fourth quarter net profit was $6.67 billion, a rise from $6.50 billion in the same period a year ago, as its refining operations returned to profit.

At the company's production division, earnings were $4.38 billion, falling from $5.1 billion a year earlier. Shell blamed the decline on higher costs and exploration expenses. Production increased by 3.3 percent to 3.41 million barrels of oil or natural gas equivalents per day, as increases at young projects in Qatar and Australia offset declines at existing fields.

The company's refining arm booked a profit of $1.2 billion, compared with a loss of $278 million, as both intake and margins improved.

Shell said Thursday it had net gains on asset sales of $1.7 billion, compared with $1.6 billion.

Associated Press
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