Shell's Q3 earnings surged 47% to beat analysts' expectations. Gearing held flat while volumes were up 2% year on year. The Supermajor again demonstrated that it is balancing the books at US$50/bbl. It was also encouraging to see volumes up. That gearing held flat should not be a concern: the timing of deal closure is a big factor and more recent completions (UK and Gabon) should ensure that net debt falls again in Q4.