Shell surged back into profit last year as oil prices rocketed on recovering demand with economies reopening from pandemic lockdowns.
Net profit stood at US$20.1 billion following a loss after tax of US$21.7 billion in 2020, Shell said in a statement on Thursday.
“2021 was a momentous year for Shell,” said chief executive Ben van Beurden, noting that the group also simplified its name and structure and outlined plans to slash greenhouse gas emissions.
Following the bumper earnings, Shell said it planned a share buyback programme totalling US$8.5 billion (7.5 billion euros).
As lockdowns spread in 2020, oil prices dropped off a cliff, even briefly turning negative.
Prices have since rebounded sharply, with the benchmark Brent North Sea oil contract trading at almost US$90 per barrel.
Gas and electricity prices have also seen massive gains over the past year, boosting income for energy majors but weighing on business costs and individuals’ spending power.
Also last year, Shell shareholders backed plans to switch the oil giant’s headquarters from the Netherlands to Britain after a century and to drop Royal Dutch from its name.
That has meant also a switch of its tax residence to Britain as well as top executives including Beurden to London.
Shell is however keeping 8,500 staff in the Netherlands.AFP