Energy giant Royal Dutch Shell said on Thursday that net profits climbed by two percent to $7.139 billion (5.514 billion euros) in the third quarter, when the group faced weaker oil and gas prices. Shell added in a result statement that its adjusted net profit, a key measure which strips out changes in the value of inventories and other non-operating items, fell by 6.0 percent to $6.56 billion in the three months to September. However, that beat market expectations for profit of $6.31 billion, according to analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires. \"Shell is driving a long-term and consistent strategy, against a backdrop of volatile energy markets,\" said Chief Executive Peter Voser in the earnings release. \"Our earnings were driven by lower oil and gas prices, and lower chemicals margins, which offset the benefits of our operating performance, underlying growth in oil and gas production, and higher results in integrated gas and oil products.\" He added: \"I am pleased with our progress in a difficult industry environment.\" Total production meanwhile fell by 1.0 percent to 2.982 million barrels of oil equivalent per day in the third quarter. However, stripping out the impact of asset sales, security problems in Nigeria and other one-off factors, underlying production was 1.0 percent higher in the reporting period. Shell\'s net profit figure included the impact of a $1.01-billion gain on the value of inventories and a $423-million impairment, mainly on natural gas assets in the United States and tax changes in Britain. Earlier this week, rival energy group BP had revealed that net profits jumped 7.7 percent to $5.43 billion in the third quarter, as it was boosted by a strong performance in its downstream business.