Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell reported Thursday second quarter net profit rose to $8.0 billion compared with $4.5 billion in the same period last year due to a strong rise in the price of crude. Earnings in the period from April through June increased by 56 percent to $6.6 billion compared with $4.2 billion in the second quarter of 2010, the company said in a statement. \"Our second quarter 2011 earnings were higher than year-ago levels, driven by increased energy prices and Shell\'s operating performances,\" company chief executive Peter Voser said in a statement. Voser said that the outlook for the rest of the year was positive. \"We have made important progress with new production in 2011, and the ramp-up of our new projects should drive our financial performance in the coming quarters,\" he said.