Shell has reported adjusted earnings of $9.13bn in Q1 2022, up from $3.2bn in the same period a year ago, due to higher oil and gas prices, and a strong performance from the trading division.

The profit, which marks the firm’s highest quarterly profit since 2008, comes despite writing down $3.9bn post-tax due to its decision to exit Russian oil and gas operations.

Adjusted EBITDA increased to $19bn, from $16.3bn is the first quarter of 2021, benefiting from higher realised prices.

Cash flow from operations also surged to $14.815bn for the quarter that ended on 31 March 2022, from $8.29m a year ago.

Shell CEO Ben van Beurden said: “The war in Ukraine is first and foremost a human tragedy, but it has also caused significant disruption to global energy markets and has shown that secure, reliable, and affordable energy simply cannot be taken for granted.

“Generating value through strong earnings and cash flow, coupled with maintaining a healthy balance sheet and continuing the disciplined delivery of our strategy, are crucial for Shell to play a leading role in the energy transition.

“Today’s results, the progress we are making with our $8.5 billion share buyback programme and the reduction of our net debt to $48.5 billion, all show we remain on track and give us the confidence to plan future shareholder distributions and disciplined investments that will accelerate our strategy.”

Revenues during the quarter soared to $83.16bn, against $59.11bn in the year prior.

The oil major also reduced its net debt to $48.5bn, from $71.3bn recorded in the prior year, mainly driven by free cash flow. This is partly offset by dividends and share buybacks.

Shell has also completed $4bn of the $8.5bn share buyback programme announced for the first half of 2022.

The remaining share buybacks are planned to be completed before the Q2 2022 results announcement.

Last month, Shell and TotalEnergies announced that they were considering drilling oil exploration wells on the southwest coast of South Africa.