Shell earned $27.6B dollars last year amid rising pump prices and with crude hovering around $100 per barrel.

The oil major has made British corporate history with the record figures, which are equivalent to more than £1.5m an hour and come at the end of a three month period when crude prices have averaged over $90 a barrel.

Jeroen van der Veer, chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell, described the performance as “satisfactory” and admitted that overall production for the year had actually dropped 2%.

He said the company had benefited from launching new oil and gas projects but had suffered in the last quarter from weak refining margins.

“We are proceeding with the rejuvenation of our portfolio with investment in new legacy assets and through disposals. The execution of our strategy is on track.”

But what of the poor working stiff paying through the nose at the pump? Tony Woodley, joint general secretary of Unite the union, Britain’s largest trade union said a windfall tax should be imposed.

A windfall tax would be the “right and proper” thing to do over and above the normal taxes the oil companies would pay.

“The oil companies can maintain their investment programmes, maintain their explorations, pay their normal taxes, maintain good returns to shareholders but still put their hands in their treasure chests and pay a windfall tax,” he added.

Let’s see which side the government stands on, the people or the corporation.