Royal Dutch Shell has posted a 75% drop in its fourth-quarter profits to $1.18bn because of a lack of demand in the weak global economy.

For the full year, Shell’s profit stood at $9.8bn, against $31.4bn in 2008.

Shell chief executive Peter Voser said the Q4 results were affected by the economic downturn.

“Oil prices have increased compared with a year ago, but gas prices and refining margins have declined sharply, because of weaker demand and high industry inventory levels,” Voser said.

For the quarter, oil and gas production fell 2.4% to 3.3 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, and full year output was down 3%.