He said Shell was in the process of divesting refineries in four countries: "I am determined to improve our performance in this business."
Without the one-off items, Shell's earnings were down 3 percent from a year ago to $7.33 billion with its upstream business posting a slight rise in earnings and downstream posting a drop. Shares traded 2.4 percent higher shortly after market open following the results.
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Also on a positive note, cash flow increased to $14 billion from $11.6 billion in the first quarter of 2013 and $6 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013.
That allowed the oil major to announce a first-quarter 2014 dividend of $0.47 per ordinary share, an increase of 4 percent year-on-year.
The firm said first quarter upstream earnings were supported by stronger gas segment results, offset by the impact of exploration well write-offs, and higher costs and depreciation.
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The first quarter saw new, profitable production from the deep-water Gulf of Mexico and Iraq, together with new LNG from the acquisition of Repsol's portfolio, it said.