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Posts from ‘January, 2015’

BIG OIL: Who will blink first to set the M&A scramble in motion

Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 08.53.48With more than $110 billion of oil and gas assets on the block as companies big and small count the cost of the collapse in oil prices, it is now a question of who will blink first to set the M&A scramble in motion.

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Article published by Reuters 30 Jan 2015 under the headline:

Buyers bide their time in $110 bln oil asset sell-off

* Half of the assets on sale are in North America

* North Sea could prove a hard sell

* Potential buyers holding out for further price falls

* Wave of deals expected within three to six months

By Ron Bousso

LONDON, Jan 30 (Reuters) – With more than $110 billion of oil and gas assets on the block as companies big and small count the cost of the collapse in oil prices, it is now a question of who will blink first to set the M&A scramble in motion.

Energy groups with spare cash, venture capital funds and multinational and state oil companies are eyeing assets with valuations that have largely tracked the halving of the oil price to less than $50 a barrel since last June. read more

Oil rout gives Exxon and Shell reason to buy rival ‘sisters’

Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 08.53.48…a major deal over the next year that will bring together two of the super majors, or see one of their smaller rivals swallowed up, is highly likely – and almost a certainty if historical precedent is anything to go by. Certainly, if the oil rout of the late 90s is anything to go by, a major deal among the industries big “sisters” is just around the corner.

Article By Andrew Critchlow, Commodities editor, The Telegraph, published 30 Jan 2015 under the headline:

Oil rout gives Exxon and Shell reason to buy rival ‘sisters’

First there were the “Seven Sisters”, a term coined in the 1950s to describe a cabal of the world’s biggest international oil companies (IOCs), which at that time controlled the supply of fossil fuels with a vice-like grip.

Then came the Yom Kippur war of 1973 and the subsequent Middle East oil crisis, which would gradually see their power over more than three-quarters of the world’s crude wrestled back by newly independent states in the Persian Gulf.

By the late 1990s – with oil prices at around $20 (£13.20) per barrel – the original seven had grown much bigger and been morphed into new giants, which consumed their smaller rivals in a race to acquire what little of the world’s oil and gas reserves still remained open to them. read more

Shell overstated its fourth quarter results by $178 million

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Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 21.26.38Fri Jan 30, 2015 4:48pm GMT

(Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) said on Friday it had overstated its fourth quarter results by $178 million (118.44 million pounds) due to an error in the valuation of its fuel inventory.

The company said its underlying earnings, which are most closely watched by analysts and investors, were unaffected by the mistake.

“A stock valuation error in its downstream operations was discovered,” Shell said in a statement.

“Royal Dutch Shell’s fourth quarter and full year 2014 earnings, on a current cost of supplies (CCS) basis are unchanged,” the company said in the statement.

However, as a consequence of the error, Shell reduced fourth quarter income to shareholders from $773 million to $595 million. Full year income was cut from $15,052 million to $14,874 million. read more

Shell knew of fraud and moneylaundering activities during purchase of an oilfield in Nigeria

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 09.22.43This story is currently being reported by multiple Dutch news publishers on 31 Jan 2015

Non professional translation

Shell knew of dubious practices in Nigeria

Shell knew of fraud and moneylaundering activities during the purchase of an oilfield in Nigeria.

This is a statement in OneWorld magazine in an investigation of “dubious” trading in the African Country.

According to OneWorld, Shell acted against its own business principles, as is shown in a reconstruction of the purchase of the oilfield.

Shell paid together with ENI more than a billion dollars for a licence in oilfield 245, off the coast of Nigeria.

This field contains about a quarter of all Nigerian reserves. read more

Where is my defamation writ from Edward Heerema, Allseas son of Pieter Schelte?

Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 19.09.50By John Donovan

Despite my forthright comments about Edward Heerema (the owner of the multibillion dollar ship Pieter Schelte), describing him a sinister individual who engages in shady financial machinations, I have not yet received a defamation writ.

Threats yes, but no writ. 

Edward Heerema is one of the squabbling sons of Pieter Schelte Heerema, the offshore pioneer and former German Waffen SS officer/war criminal. 

It could be because Allseas does not have my address, in which case they only need to ask me for it. read more

Shell shelves Arrow LNG project in Queensland

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 11.37.41From an article by Angela Macdonald-Smith published 30 Jan 2015 by The Sydney Morning Herald under the headline:

“Shell shelves Arrow LNG project in Queensland”

Royal Dutch Shell has finally ditched plans for a new $US20 billion-plus liquefied natural gas project in Queensland,making it the latest casualty of the oil price slump.

Global chief executive Ben van Beurden said the proposed greenfield Arrow LNG project with PetroChina was “off the table”, while other ventures would be slowed as priority was given instead to Shell’s North American LNG projects.

The Arrow greenfield project is formally “cancelled,” Shell said in a presentation released for its fourth-quarter results in London which cited several ventures that were being deferred or abandoned in the wake of the collapse in oil prices. read more

Shell, Exxon Sell North Sea Field to ONE After Oil-Price Rout

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 11.37.41Article by Jillian Ward published 29 Jan 2015 by Bloomberg under the headline:

“Shell, Exxon Sell North Sea Field to ONE After Oil-Price Rout”

Extracts

(Bloomberg) — Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Exxon Mobil Corp. have sold their stakes in the Sean field to Oranje-Nassau Energie BV for an undisclosed sum as drillers seek to offload aging North Sea assets.

Shell and Exxon each sold a 25 percent stake in the gas field to Amsterdam-based ONE, the companies said. The deal — still subject to partner and regulatory approvals — will likely be completed in the first half of 2015, Shell said in an e-mailed statement.

“Sean has entered a phase where it offers greater value to other companies than it does for Shell,” The Hague-based company said. “The deal shows that Shell is delivering its strategy to focus on areas where the company can add value in the U.K. Continental Shelf.” read more

Inside Shell’s earnings report: Proof that the Saudis’ oil market strategy is working

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Screen Shot 2015-01-30 at 12.02.38By Puneet Kollipara January 29 at 5:43 PM

Saudi Arabia shocked the world last fall in breaking from its traditional mold of keeping oil production artificially low to prop up oil prices. Instead, the Saudis and other OPEC nations voted to keep oil output steady even in the face of a global supply surplus, a move seemingly designed to respond to the threat that the Saudis see from rising output from non-OPEC producers — from U.S. shale plays to Russia’s Arctic to Brazil’s deep offshore waters. read more

Shell’s Arctic Dilemma

CONTRIBUTOR COMMENT

In the context of BvB’s comments about the Arctic, it is perhaps worth noting that in the absence of an intention to pursue their Arctic prospects, Shell would be obliged to write off/write down their past expenditure… And that would have resulted in a very miserable result for 2014. The problem has at least been delayed, but it won’t go away.

RELATED: Bad idea: Shell’s gearing up to start drilling in the Arctic again: salon.com

Extract

Neither risk of an oil spill nor global climate change nor the falling price of oil will keep Shell from exploiting the Arctic’s oil.

After suspending its Arctic program for years following the grounding of one of its drilling rigs, the company announced Thursday that it plans to start drilling this summer in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea.

“Will we go ahead?” CEO Ben van Beurden said during the company’s fourth quarter results conference. “Yes if we can. I’d be so disappointed if we wouldn’t.” read more

BP Shell merger on the horizon

Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 12.29.57Potentially, a prolonged period of low oil prices might finally see BP and Shell, like two drunken sailors, holding each other up through the merger that has so long been on the horizon.

AN ARTICLE BY ALEX BRUMMER FOR THE DAILY MAIL PUBLISHED 30 Jan 2015 

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“ALEX BRUMMER: Big oil players confront the slump by slashing capital expenditure”

Oil exploration and production is a long-term enterprise so it is encouraging that Shell chief executive Ben van Beurden is not hitting the panic button.

The group’s market value of £139billion makes it the biggest beast on the FTSE 100 by a long chalk. In that context, and with its strong cash flows, the asset disposals and the proposed cuts in capital spending of $15billion (£9.9billion) over three years are relatively modest.

In pressing on with capital expenditure, despite the fall in the oil price by 60 per cent over the last year, Shell looks to be counting on energy prices bouncing back. It is an interesting assumption because there is a prevailing view that there has been a mispricing of oil for a lengthy time because of a glut of supplies. read more

Shell bows to investor pressure on climate risk

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Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 21.26.38WASHINGTON Thu Jan 29, 2015 1:49pm EST

(Reuters) – In a rare move, oil major Shell on Thursday backed a resolution proposed by activist investors to force the company to recognize climate change risks by improving its transparency.

Shell’s executive vice president of investor relations JJ Traynor said the company would urge shareholders to vote for the resolution at the annual general meeting in May.

The announcement coincided with Shell saying Thursday that it would cut $15 billion in spending but continue to drill in Alaska’s Arctic.

The resolution was filed by the Aiming for A coalition of UK investors representing close to £200 billion ($300 billion) in assets and calls on Shell to disclose additional information in five areas related to climate change in its annual reporting from 2016. read more

Shell resumes Arctic drilling but cuts $15bn from global investment

Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 15.57.27Royal Dutch Shell is reviving plans to drill for oil in Arctic in a move likely to intensify its battle with environmentalists.

The Anglo-Dutch giant’s chief executive Ben van Beurden accepted that Arctic drilling “divides society”, but said the world needs new sources of oil.

Greenpeace said Shell was taking a “massive risk” in a “pristine” region.

Shell also announced a $15bn (£9.9bn) cut in global spending, and profit figures that disappointed investors.

The cut in investment – spread over three years – comes after a fall in the oil price. Although the price is expected to remain lower in the medium term, Mr van Beurden said: “We are taking a prudent approach here and we must be careful not to over-react to the recent fall in oil prices.

“Shell is taking structured decisions to balance growth and returns.”

Shell also said profits for the last three months of 2014 had risen to $4.2bn compared with $2.2bn in the same period a year earlier. read more

Ben Van Beurden Ringing NYSE Bell on Monday?

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Hi John,

I am an ex-Shell employee and appreciate your site very much. I still keep in touch with friends at Shell, and one of them is traveling to New York this weekend ahead of the NYSE bell ringing ceremony on Monday. My friend was told that BVB and Marvin Odum would both be in attendance. Apparently this event has been described as celebrating the launch of SHLX (Shell Midstream Partners LP) on the NYSE, however I am wondering if it could be about something bigger since Ben and Marvin are both going to be there. (Perhaps a merger Monday BP takeover?) Do you have any ideas? read more

Shell wants to resume drilling in Arctic this summer

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Screen Shot 2013-11-01 at 09.31.18By Karolin Schaps and Ron Bousso

Jan 29 (Reuters) – Oil major Shell wants to revive its Arctic oil drilling programme this year after a near two-year suspension, angering environmentalists who say the risk of an oil spill is too high.

Remote and costly to develop, the Arctic is estimated to contain 20 percent of the world’s undiscovered hydrocarbon resources and despite fierce opposition, plans for drilling north of the Arctic Circle are under way in the United States, Russia and Norway.

Shell, Europe’s largest energy firm, is intent on restarting its Arctic drilling campaign in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea this summer. It was suspended in early 2013 following the grounding of a drilling rig. read more

Shell Chief Pledges Everything to Maintain Its ‘Iconic’ Dividend

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BLOOMBERG: Shell Chief Pledges Everything to Maintain Its ‘Iconic’ Dividend

by Nidaa Bakhsh and Mark Barton

(Bloomberg) — Royal Dutch Shell Plc Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden pledged to do all he can to maintain payments to shareholders of Europe’s largest oil company after crude prices fell by more than half in the past six months.

“We have a very long-term dividend policy and I’m not minded to change that,” Van Beurden said in an interview today with Bloomberg Television. “The dividend is an iconic item at Shell and I will do everything to protect it.” read more

Royal Dutch Shell Reports 57 Percent Drop in Net Income

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Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 08.45.23LONDON — Jan 29, 2015, 3:42 AM ET: By DANICA KIRKA Associated Press

Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Europe’s largest oil company by market value, said Thursday that fourth quarter net income fell 57 percent to $773 million and that it would cap spending this year in response to falling oil prices.

Shell is one first big producers to report earnings since the recent plunge in oil prices, so the results are likely to set the tone for its peers. The price of Brent crude dropped about 50 percent last year.

Fourth quarter earnings on current cost of supplies basis, which excludes the impact of changes in the oil price on inventory, rose 93 percent to $4.2 billion. For the year, such earnings rose 14 percent to $19 billion. read more

Plan to allow Shell oil drilling fleet in Seattle draws ire

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Screen Shot 2014-04-04 at 09.49.25BY PHUONG LE ASSOCIATED PRESS: 01/28/2015 9:43 PM: SEATTLE

A plan to allow Royal Dutch Shell PLC to use Seattle’s waterfront as a homeport for its Arctic drilling fleet is drawing opposition from environmental groups that say it’s not consistent with the region’s environmental goals.

Several state and national groups, and local city leaders on Wednesday urged the Port of Seattle to halt lease negotiations that would allow Shell to use 50 acres of port property across from downtown Seattle.

Shell could house about two dozen vessels, including exploration drill rigs, ice breakers, tugs and barges at the site in the winter when they’re not exploring for oil off Alaska’s coast.

Port commissioners this month approved moving forward with a short-term lease with Foss Maritime, whose clients include Shell. The port is renovating the terminal to handle bigger ships and was looking for interim uses that could bring revenue. read more

Shell to cut spending by $15 bln over next 3 years

Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 08.45.23Jan 29 (Reuters) – Oil major Royal Dutch Shell said on Thursday it would curtail spending by $15 billion over the next 3 years while keeping dividends stable in a bid to calm investors amid plunging oil prices.

Europe’s largest oil company by market value kept its fourth-quarter dividend stable versus the previous quarter at $0.47 per share and pledged to pay the same amount in the first quarter of 2015.

The company reported fourth-quarter 2014 earnings on a current cost of supplies basis at $4.2 billion, compared with $2.2 billion a year earlier, meeting expectations.

Oil prices have fallen by almost 60 percent since June because of weak global demand and a boom in U.S. shale production. OPEC in November decided not to cut output in a move the group of oil producing nations hopes will force higher cost producers to trim production. read more

Oil tumbles; U.S. crude prices near six-year low on record stockpiles

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Goldman Sachs analysts said in a Tuesday note that they expected U.S. crude, also known as WTI, to remain near $40 a barrel in the first half of this year

REUTERS

By Barani Krishnan

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Oil slumped on Wednesday, with U.S. crude prices at near six-year lows, after the government reported record-high inventories in the United States that raised anxieties about the global oil glut that had pressured the market since last summer.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said domestic crude oil stocks rose by almost 9 million barrels last week to reach nearly 407 million, their highest since the government began keeping records in 1982. read more

Fracking failures lead to environmental harm

Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 14.07.51Comment: These events appear to have happened on Paul Goodfellow’s watch?: According to his current Linked-in profile Goodfellow was Shell VP Unconventionals from 2012-2013

FROM AN ARTICLE BY SUSY KELLY PUBLISHED 28 JAN 2015 BY THE HERALD-STANDARD UNDER THE HEADLINE:

“Report: Fracking failures lead to environmental harm in area and state”

Extract

A report released Tuesday by a nonprofit environmental research group shows that despite assurances to the contrary, companies who develop unconventional natural gas wells have polluted the environment in Pennsylvania and will continue to do so under current regulatory standards.

In April 2013, EQT, Chevron Appalachia, Consol and Shell formed the Center for Sustainable Shale Development (CSSD), promising not only that safe, sustainable shale resource development was possible, but that they would do it of their own accord, according to the report. Data from the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) shows those four companies failed to uphold state requirements at least 100 times, according to PennEnvironment’s research. read more

Pieter Schelte, the ship cursed with a Nazi name

Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 13.54.46AN OPEN LETTER TO MR EDWARD HEEREMA, FOUNDER AND SOLE OWNER OF ALLSEAS

I am sure you are aware of the aggressive email I received at an early stage in my contact with Allseas. Your PR Manager Mr. Jeroen Hagelstein, informed me that Allseas reputation and integrity are extremely important. The last paragraph of his email amounted to a full broadside, with threats of immediate legal action. Shell can testify that I am not susceptible to threats. 

Dear Mr. Heerema

You are well aware of my petition trying to persuade you to change the name of your new ship, The Pieter Schelte, named after your father, an officer in the infamous German Waffen SS.

You have already paid a self-inflicted price for your good-intentioned, but wrongheaded decision and are apparently prepared to stick with the Nazi linked name in the long term.

I am referring to the collateral damage to your own reputation (for unwise decision making) and the reputation of your company, Allseas, as a result of being seen to brazenly operate a prominent ship under a Nazi linked name. That evil association will precede and follow the ship like an albatross, wherever it sails, for the rest of its days. read more

Shell signs $11 billion deal to build petrochemicals plant in Iraq

Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 21.26.38FROM REUTERS

Shell signs $11 billion deal to build petrochemicals plant in Iraq

(Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) signed deal with Iraq worth $11 billion (7 billion pounds) to build a petrochemicals plant in the southern oil hub of Basra, Industry Minister Nasser al-Esawi said on Wednesday.

Esawi told a press conference in Baghdad the Nibras complex, which is expected to come on line within five to six years, would make Iraq the largest petrochemical producer in the Middle East. The factory’s expected output was not immediately clear.

Shell, which is one of the main oil majors operating in south of Iraq, signed a memorandum of understanding with the ministry for the project in 2012. read more

Crude at $49: The New Reality for Big Oil Companies

Screen Shot 2014-02-18 at 18.34.00FROM BLOOMBERG

(Bloomberg) — Financial results from a fourth quarter that saw the collapse of the crude market will provide a window into how the world’s biggest oil companies are adjusting to a new reality of slowing growth and low prices.

Oil that topped $115 a barrel as recently as June has been trading below $50 a barrel since the first week of the year, portending a bleak 2015 for the world’s five so-called supermajors — Exxon Mobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Chevron Corp., Total SA and BP Plc. The companies, whose businesses combine oil and natural gas exploration with refining and chemical manufacturing, have historically been among the most resilient players during down cycles. read more

Obama moves to block development in 9.8 million acres of Arctic Ocean

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Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 09.25.26Krestia DeGeorge,Nathaniel Herz: January 27, 2015

Citing biodiversity and Alaska Native subsistence whaling, the Obama administration moved to block development in 9.8 million acres within the Beaufort and Chukchi seas as part of a new five-year outer continental shelf oil and gas leasing program, the draft of which was released Tuesday morning by the Department of the Interior.

The announcement came two days after President Barack Obama said he planned to ask Congress to declare much of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Northeast Alaska as wilderness, including the possibly oil-and-gas-rich coastal plain — and a month after the president closed waters in and around Bristol Bay to oil and gas development. read more

U.S. Seen Limiting Oil Drilling in Arctic, May Open Atlantic

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26 JAN 2015

(Bloomberg) — The U.S. Interior Department will lay a framework as soon as Tuesday for oil exploration in the nation’s coastal waters in a five-year plan that is expected to withdraw areas off Alaska while possibly adding parts of the Atlantic.

Republican Lisa Murkowski said the head of the offshore energy office told her the agency will place areas of the energy-rich U.S. Arctic off limits. Those areas had been previously deferred from new leasing. Current leases in the Arctic, such as those held by Royal Dutch Shell Plc, won’t be affected. read more

Nazi rat lines and Pieter Schelte Heerema

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by Ton Biesemaat, Dutch investigative journalist

…there is overwhelming proof that Pieter Schelte Heerema remained a staunch Nazi until his death. Yet the world does not seem to care when one of the largest ships is named after this man 

Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 14.10.42There is a lot of media noise about one of the world’s largest ships, which is now in its finishing building stage in the port of Rotterdam. The ship is named Pieter Schelte after his father by the owner of the Allseas company Edward Heerema. So far so good. Allseas is an international player in the offshore industry and the Pieter Schelte will be used for pipe laying on the seabed and decommisioning of obsolete oil and gas platforms in for example the North Sea and Gulf of Mexico. However Jewish organisations are angry because the ship is named after a Dutch Nazi and SS-officer who was vehemently anti-Semitic (1). read more

Oil price lays waste to energy giants

Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 08.45.23FROM AN ARTICLE BY DANNY FORTSON OF THE SUNDAY TIMES PUBLISHED 25 JAN 2015 UNDER THE HEADLINE: 

“Oil price lays waste to energy giants”

THE chaos unleashed by the collapse of the oil price will be laid bare in the next fortnight as BP reveals a halving of profits, Shell cuts billions in spending, and Centrica comes under pressure to slash its dividend.

Crude prices have fallen from $114 a barrel in the summer to just $47.12 on Friday.

This week, Shell is expected to slash 5%-10% from its $35bn (£23bn) spending plans for 2015. The company, which recently shut platforms at its Brent field in the North Sea after nearly 40 years of production, is likely to target pricy onshore operations in the US and Canada. read more

SS Pieter Schelte: The huge ship cursed with a Nazi name

Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 19.09.50By John Donovan

The Observer newspaper, the Mail Online  and the Dutch Financial Times, plus a variety of other news outlets, all published articles over the weekend covering The Pieter Schelte Nazi Ship Controversy. 

SOME OF THE HEADLINES

Jewish outrage as ship named after SS war criminal arrives in Europe: The Observer/Guardian

Named after SS Nazi war criminal: World’s largest ship sparks outrage as it arrives in Europe just as 70th anniversary of liberation of Auschwitz is marked (Mail  Online) read more

Oil giant Shell set for further cost cuts

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Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 08.45.23By GEOFF HO: Published Sunday January 25, 2015  

Royal Dutch Shell chief executive Ben van Beurden will outline how the company plans to deal with the collapse in crude oil prices when he unveils its results on Thursday.

The oil giant is expected to reveal further cost-cutting measures alongside a 4.6 per cent fall in its 2014 pre-tax profits to $35 billion (£23.4 billion).

Earlier this month, Shell dropped a $6.5 billion (£4.3 billion) project in Qatar due to the impact of falling oil and gas prices. read more

Outrage as it emerges world’s largest ship Pieter Schelte is named after SS Nazi war criminal

SCREENSHOTS OF ARTICLE PUBLISHED SUNDAY 25 JAN 2015 BY THE DAILY MAIL/MAIL ONLINE read more

Observer Newspaper: World’s biggest ship, the Pieter Schelte, sparks Nazi outrage on arrival in Rotterdam

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Screen Shot 2015-01-11 at 16.39.25FROM AN ARTICLE BY ED VULLIAMY PUBLISHED BY THEGUARDIAN.COM AND THE OBSERVER NEWSPAPER, SUNDAY 25 JAN 2015 UNDER THE HEADLINE:

World’s biggest ship, the Pieter Schelte, sparks Nazi outrage on arrival in Rotterdam

Extracts

Leaders of Jewish communities and Holocaust memorial groups in Britain and the Netherlands have reacted with rage and despair at the arrival in Rotterdam of the world’s biggest ship, the Pieter Schelte, named after a Dutch officer in the Waffen-SS.

The vice-president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Jonathan Arkush, said: “Naming such a ship after an SS officer who was convicted of war crimes is an insult to the millions who suffered and died at the hands of the Nazis. We urge the ship’s owners to reconsider and rename the ship after someone more appropriate.” read more

Pieter Schelte: Criticism swells of Heerema’s ‘bad name’ heavy lift

Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 15.40.22NON-PROFESSIONAL TRANSLATION OF AN ARTICLE PUBLISHED BY THE DUTCH FINANCIAL TIMES UNDER THE HEADLINE:

Criticism swells of Heerema’s ‘bad name’ heavy lift

Alexander Weissink
Sunday, January 25th, 2015, 11:26
Updated: Sunday, January 25, 2015, 16:56

The Dutch owner of offshore company Allseas in Delft is increasingly criticized for the naming of its newest vessel. Edward Heerema named the largest floating crane in the world after his father Pieter Schelte who was an officer in World War II in the German Waffen SS before he made his name as an offshore pioneer.

The Guardian

The Guardian Saturday citing various Jewish organizations complained about this tribute. The vessel with a size of eight football pitches and a cost of € 2.4 billion was early this month the subject of a ceremony on its arrival in the port of Rotterdam. In the backwater of Maasvlakte Pieter Schelte is being assembled in the coming months. After that lights the vessel obsolete oil platforms in the North Sea from their pedestal and drains. read more

Jewish Groups Outraged At Launching Of World’s Largest Crane Ship Named After SS Officer

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Article by Tibi Singer published Saturday 24 Jan 2015

The Swiss-based Allseas Group’s new ship, Pieter Schelte, is 1,146 feet long and 372 feet wide. Built by Daewoo Heavy Industries in South Korea, at a reported cost of $2.85 billion, it is capable of lifting loads of 48,000 tons. It is the world’s largest offshore pipelay and platform installation vessel, equipped with a Sonardyne Ranger 2 USBL acoustic positioning system. It’s also named after a Nazi.

Allseas is owned by Edward Heerema, a Dutchman, who is the son of Pieter Schelte Heerema, an officer in the Waffen-SS. And Edward insisted on naming his prized ship after his dad. read more

Jewish leaders outraged over ship named after Nazi war criminal

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The Pieter Schelte, named after a Nazi war criminal, arrived at the port of Rotterdam. Photo by FaceMePLS/CC

Screen Shot 2015-01-24 at 22.05.11UPI ARTICLE BY AMY R. CONNOLLY PUBLISHED 24 JAN 2015

ROTTERDAM, Netherlands, Jan. 24 (UPI) — Jewish leaders in Britain and the Netherlands are outraged that a massive ship bearing the name of a Dutch Nazi war criminal arrived in Rotterdam to work in the European offshore oil industry.

The Pieter Schelte, called the world’s biggest vessel, arrived in port as Jewish organizations asked the ship’s owners to change the name. Jewish leaders said the recent terrorist attack at a Paris kosher deli that left four dead and the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz is making the decision to name the ship after the war criminal all the more difficult to understand. read more

World’s biggest ship named after Nazi

Screen Shot 2015-01-24 at 21.50.12THE JEWISH CHRONICLE

Article by Toby Axelrod, January 22, 2015

Follow The JC on Twitter

Should the world’s largest ship be named after a convicted Nazi war criminal? No, says retired British businessman John Donovan – and he’s not sitting idly by.

The Colchester resident has launched an online petition asking shipping magnate Edward Heerema of the Allseas Group SA to change the name of its giant new vessel, the Pieter Schelte.

Schelte was Mr Heereema’s father, a renowned maritime engineer but also an avowed antisemite who joined the Waffen SS. He eventually became an informant for the Dutch resistance in 1943. read more

Who Will Rule the Oil Market?

Screen Shot 2015-01-13 at 09.23.28OPINION ARTICLE BY DANIEL YERGIN PUBLISHED IN PRINT BY THE NEW YORK TIMES ON SATURDAY 25 JAN 2015

WASHINGTON — A HISTORIC change of roles is at the heart of the clamor and turmoil over the collapse of oil prices, which have plummeted by 50 percent since September. For decades, Saudi Arabia, backed by the Persian Gulf emirates, was described as the “swing producer.” With its immense production capacity, it could raise or lower its output to help the global market adjust to shortages or surpluses.

But on Nov. 27, at the OPEC meeting in Vienna, Saudi Arabia effectively resigned from that role and OPEC handed over all responsibility for oil prices to the market, which the Saudi oil minister, Ali Al-Naimi, predicted would “stabilize itself eventually.” OPEC’s decision was hardly unanimous. Venezuela and Iran, their economies in deep trouble, lobbied hard for production cutbacks, to no avail. Afterward, Iran accused Saudi Arabia of waging an “oil war” and being part of a “plot” against it. read more

Can BP and Royal Dutch Shell weather the storm?

Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 08.45.23From an article by Kyle Caldwell published by The Telegraph on 23 Jan 2015 under the headline:

“Oil shares yield 6pc, but are the dividends safe?”

Since June the price of Brent Crude has fallen from $116 a barrel to just below $50 last week. The plunge means these companies will generate far lower revenues and, with their costs still high, will see their profits fall.

Some investors have already lost faith as shares have fallen sharply. But those buying in today could be tempted by the yield on all of these shares rising because the price has fallen. At around the 6pc yield mark, Royal Dutch Shell and BP at a glance look attractive.

Some of Britain’s fund managers, however, have ruled out buying. Steve Davies, who manages the Jupiter UK Growth fund, said: “Unless you think the oil price will recover from here these shares are not a buy. I think the heavyweights – BP and Royal Dutch Shell – can weather the storm and pay dividends, through debt if needs be, but they will not be able to continue doing this next year or in two years’ time unless the oil price recovers.” read more

Oil majors to preserve dividends despite oil collapse, tap debt

Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 08.45.23REUTERS ARTICLE PUBLISHED 23 Jan 2015

(Reuters) – Europe’s oil majors will strike a sober note in their fourth-quarter results and investors will focus on companies’ plans to maintain cherished dividends and their strategies to cope with the oil prices collapse that caught many unawares.

Having sold around $120 billion in assets in recent years to boost balance sheets and keep up dividend payouts, companies are expected to increase borrowing and further cut costs as they come to terms with oil prices that have more than halved since June to around $50 a barrel. read more

Dusting off the Shell BP merger files

Screen Shot 2015-01-22 at 21.22.36Shell and the forerunner of BP bribed a famous politician to facilitate a merger 

According to Sir Martin Gilbert, the official biographer of Winston Churchill, Royal Dutch Shell and BP (then called Burmah Anglo-Persian Oil Company), were in merger discussions in 1923.

Extract from a BBC News Magazine article published 22 Jan 2015

10. Cash for influence

“In return for a fee of £5,000 two oil companies, Royal Dutch Shell and Burmah Anglo-Persian Oil Company [later BP], asked him to represent them in their application to the government for a merger,” Gilbert’s official biography stated.

By modern British political standards, the 1923 payment would be considered highly inappropriate.

Churchill, whose “political career was in the doldrums” at the time, according to a history of British Petroleum, agreed to use his parliamentary influence to raise the issue in return for money. read more

Lloyd’s Register PR Fanfair Saluting Nazi named mega-ship The Pieter Schelte

THIS ARTICLE, INCLUDING THE SCREENSHOT OF THE FRONT COVER OF JAN 2015 EDITION OF HORIZONS MAGAZINE (IMMEDIATELY BELOW), WAS SUPPLIED IN ADVANCE OF PUBLICATION TO LLOYD’S REGISTER AND ALLSEAS WITH THE INVITATION TO CORRECT ANY INACCURATE INFORMATION. IT FOLLOWS THAT BOTH FIRMS HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO SEEK AN INJUNCTION TO PREVENT PUBLICATION. 

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Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 14.43.40By John Donovan

The above screenshot is from the front cover of the January 2015 edition of Horizons Magazine published by Lloyd’s Register. The front page lead story, is a multipage PR extravaganza trumpeting the key involvement of Lloyd’s Register in the creation and building of the Pieter Schelte, “the world’s largest-ever ship.”

The one thing that spoils the celebration about the gigantic vessel, which arrived in Rotterdam days ago, is that it is named in honour of a senior Waffen SS Nazi officer jailed for war crimes, Pieter Schelte Heerema. read more

You are here Stakes are too high with Arctic drilling, and Shell isn’t ready

Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 09.25.26From an article by Lois Epstein published 21 Jan 2015 by Alaska Dispatch News

Extracts

Two years ago on New Year’s Eve, Shell’s Kulluk Arctic offshore drilling rig grounded near Kodiak Island. It was an industrial calamity heard around the world, including a cover story in the Jan. 4 issue of The New York Times magazine.

Between Shell’s 2012 offshore drilling and mobilization problems and the federal government’s difficulties in overseeing Arctic Ocean leasing as discussed below — not to mention the recent dramatic drop in the price of oil — it is becoming increasingly clear that Arctic Ocean drilling faces insurmountable hurdles, especially in 2015. read more

Al Gore: oil companies ‘use our atmosphere as an open sewer’

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From an article by Jo Confino published by The Guardian 21 Jan 2015

Al Gore: “Companies are insisting on their right to use our atmosphere as an open sewer. In London a long time ago, a famous doctor connected the dots between sewage and cholera. We are connecting the dots between dirty energy and dirty weather, and in order to drive the kind of constructive change necessary, we need to put a price on carbon.”

FULL ARTICLE

BP boss Bob Dudley: Oil prices ‘low for up to 3 years’

Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 20.54.03BBC News Article Published 21 Jan 2015

The boss of oil giant BP Bob Dudley has said that oil prices could remain low for up to three years.

He added that could send UK petrol prices below £1 per litre.

He told BBC Business editor Kamal Ahmed in Davos BP was planning for low oil prices for years to come.

That is expected to lead to job losses and falling investment in the North Sea oil industry and elsewhere, curbing supply and eventually forcing the price back up.

Italian oil group Eni has said the next spike could be around $200 a barrel.

Eni’s chief executive, Claudio Descalzi, said the oil industry would cut capital spending by 10-13% this year because of slumping prices.

He said that would create longer-term shortages and sharp price rises in four to five years’ time, if the Opec cartel fails to cut supplies.

Mr Descalzi was speaking at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort of Davos.

£1 per litre

Mr Dudley said historically world oil prices have fluctuated, and sometimes have remained low for a number of years. read more

Why Shell And Exxon Are Interested In Gulf Of Mexico Bidding

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By: MICHEAL KAUFMANPublished: Jan 21, 2015

Some of the largest global oil producers have shown an early interest in the first phase of Mexico’s bidding round for blocks of exploratory crude oil and natural gas, located in the Deepwater region of Gulf of Mexico.

According to a Mexican government official, the oil and gas blocks up for bids are located in a part of the Gulf with a high amount of upstream activities. A company with expertise in exploration can find oil for as low as $20 per barrel. At such a cost level, exploratory activities become an attractive investment despite oil price being caught in a downward spiral for over six months. Since peaking last year at $107 per barrel, crude oil price has halved read more

Shell launches investigation into suspected North Sea gas leak

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Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 21.26.38Article by Niamh Burns published by EnergyVoice.com 21 Jan 2015

Shell launches investigation into suspected North Sea gas leak

An investigation has been launched after a suspected gas leak in the North Sea.

Oil major Shell, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) will review the incident, which happened earlier this week close to the Curlew Floating Production, Storage and Offloading vessel (FPSO).

Specialist divers from the Bibby Polaris Dive Support Vessel (DSV) are currently on site to close two vales which will isolate the vessel from the Fulmar pipeline.

There are currently 91 personnel onboard the vessel and Shell said it had “no plans” to evacuate staff. read more

Blood in the water

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Mergers offer a chance to cut costs and save money. Prices are low. BP, now fit, lean and cheap, is not best placed to go shopping itself. So it could be on someone else’s list.Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 22.32.28

The oil giant’s troubles could make it a takeover target, especially if the price of crude keeps falling

INVESTORS in BP are a patient bunch, and well rewarded for it. Britain’s third-largest company pays generous and reliable dividends, making it a mainstay of many private and institutional portfolios. But in the run-up to the oil giant’s quarterly results on February 3rd, some investors are jittery. Although BP’s dividend yield is a juicy 5.8%, its shares have fallen by a fifth over 10 years, greatly underperforming the broader market (see chart) and making total shareholder returns slightly negative. This is mainly because of the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010, which cost 11 lives and a stonking $43 billion (and maybe more) in fines, legal bills, compensation and clean-up. read more

Shell fined nearly $1 million for falsely selling green motor fuel

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 21.26.18SHELL FOUND TO HAVE MISLABELLED ULTRA-LOW SULFUR DIESEL

From ClickGreen staff. Published Tuesday 20 Jan 2015 under the headline:

Shell slapped with near-$1 million fine for falsely selling green motor fuel

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced a settlement with three companies affiliated with Shell Oil Company to resolve Clean Air Act violations, including selling gasoline and diesel fuel that did not conform to federal standards.

The violations resulted in excess emissions of harmful air pollutants from motor vehicles, which pose public health threats and environmental impacts. The companieswill pay a $900,000 penalty to resolve these violations.

“Fuel standards established under the Clean Air Act play a major role in controlling harmful air pollution from vehicles and engines,” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 21.40.11“If unchecked, these pollutants can seriously impair the air we breathe, especially during summer months when they can reach higher levels. This settlement makes clear that if companies fail to produce fuels that comply with federal standards, they will be held accountable.” read more

Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, and Petrobras In Trouble?

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By: MICHEAL KAUFMANPublished: Jan 20, 2015

James Chanos is a renowned short-seller, hedge fund manager, and the founder of Kynikos Associates – an investment firm which specializes in short-selling. In an interview with CNBC last Friday, Mr. Chanos cited serious problems for some of the largest oil producers, leading him to short some major oil companies for a couple of years, including Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM), Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A), and Petroleo Brasileiro Petrobras SA (ADR) (NYSE:PBR). read more

Big Oil’s dividends look safe – for now

Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 23.58.26Big Oil’s dividends look safe – for now

FIONA MAHARG-BRAVO
Reuters Breakingviews
Published Tuesday, Jan. 20 2015, 4:40 PM EST

Oil companies don’t like to cut dividends, even when the price of crude tumbles. Dividends are likely to be held firm this year. But the pressure on payouts is mounting.

The halving of the crude price in six months has the feel of 1986. Both then and now, the rout came after three years of relative stability and a surge in supply. Then, the price fell from $30 (U.S.) to $10 a barrel after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries decided not to cut production. It took nearly five years for the oil price to recover fully. read more

Goodfellow or Badfellow?

Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 23.17.45By John Donovan

There have been a number of posts on our Shell Blog by insiders welcoming the apparent departure of Paul Goodfellow, Vice President US Unconventionals for Upstream Americas.

e.g.

POSTING BY “F-150”

So, Christmas has finally arrived in The States with the announcement that Goodfellow is finally leaving. After seeing the havoc he has inflicted in Deepwater and Unconventionals it will be good for folks like Crouching Tiger to see the damage non-Americans can do to shareholder value. Remember Walter, Phil and David Greer? read more

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