Shell Q2 Profit Nearly Doubles

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Royal Dutch Shell, Europe's largest oil company, posted a second-quarter profit of $8.66 billion, citing higher oil prices and new projects for the near-double in profits for the period. The Anglo-Dutch oil giant said international production slid 2% to 3.05 million barrels per day.

Shell (RDS-A) said it is pumping about 200,000 barrels of oil equivalent in the Gulf of Mexico per day, 50,000 below the normal rate as the company noted production there is still being hampered by the the effects of the U.S. government's moratorium on deep-water drilling.

Shell has been investing heavily in new projects, with 400,000 barrels per day peak production coming from Canada's oil sands and Qatar's liquid natural gas - three projects representing a total $30 billion investment, according to the Associated Press. The company added that it is on target to meet its production goal of 3.7 million barrels per day by 2014.

Shell's refining business saw its profits slide 7% to $1.08 billion. The company also said its plans to drill in the Chukchi Sea in Alaska's Arctic region next year are moving forward. That project, which was slated to start this year, is expected to help Shell recover some of its lost Gulf production.