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London — Royal Dutch Shell said on Friday its $7bn share buyback programme, of which $1.5bn has been completed, will continue “at pace” despite a slowdown in fuel demand due to the Omicron Covid-19 variant.

Shell, the world’s largest trader of liquefied natural gas (LNG), said its production and liquefaction volumes were affected in the fourth quarter by unplanned maintenance, mainly in Australia, where its flagship Prelude floating LNG vessel was hit by a power outage.

In a trading update, Shell said LNG results in the fourth quarter of 2021 are set to be “significantly higher” than the third quarter.

Natural gas and electricity prices around the world have soared since the middle of last year on tight gas supplies and higher demand as economies rebounded from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Benchmark European gas prices and Asian LNG prices hit record highs in the fourth quarter.



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