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Posts from ‘August, 2016’

Shell’s Forcados Oil Pipeline Seen Restarting in September

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Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 22.18.50By Elisha Bala-Gbogbo and Paul BurkhardtAugust 31, 2016 

Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s Forcados pipeline in Nigeria will resume deliveries in September, according to an oil company that uses the line.

“We are hearing Forcados is due to return at the middle of next month,” Kola Karim, chief executive officer of Shoreline Group, said Wednesday by phone from London. “It has been a tough situation for us these past couple of months.”

The Forcados pipeline system is among oil infrastructure targeted by Nigerian militants this year. In February, Shell declared force majeure — a legal clause that allows it to stop shipments without breaching contracts — after militants blew up a line feeding the Forcados terminal, which typically exports about 200,000 barrels a day. Of that, Shoreline sends about 52,000 barrels a day.

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Scottish Oil Experts Scold Shell for Platform Abandonment Plans

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Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 22.18.50Two renowned oil industry experts from Scotland have vigorously criticized Shell’s plans to leave major parts of four platforms in the Brent field standing when it decommissions the aged field that gave the name to the most widely used international price benchmark.

Professors Alex Russell and Peter Strachan, respectively chairman of the Scottish Oil Association and researcher at the Robert Gordon University, noted in a paper that the concrete structures will take hundreds of years to disintegrate and represent a potential hazard that local people will have to pay for, rather than the field operator.

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Shell Sells Gulf Of Mexico Asset, But Faces A Tough Road Ahead

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 23.13.17Sarfaraz A. Khan: Aug. 31, 2016 3:20 PM ET

Summary

  • Royal Dutch Shell has agreed to sell its Brutus/Glider assets in the U.S. GoM to EnVen Energy for $425 million in cash.
  • The asset sale is a small step in the right direction which will improve Shell’s cash reserves.
  • The company, however, has made little progress toward achieving its target of selling $6Bn to $8Bn assets this year and $30Bn by 2018.

Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) has recently agreed to sell its Brutus/Glider assets in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico to Houston-based EnVen Energy for $425 million in cash. Shell was pumping 25,000 barrels of oil per day from these offshore properties, which was equivalent to 5.8% of the oil giant’s Gulf of Mexico production or less than 1% of its total production.

The asset sale is a small step in the right direction which will improve Shell’s cash reserves which stood at $15.2 billion at the end of June. Shell intends to sell $6 billion to $8 billion of assets this year. Overall, the company aims to dispose $30 billion of assets, spread in 5 to 10 countries and representing 10% of its production, by 2018. That will allow the company to reduce its debt which has ballooned following the $53 billion takeover of BG Group.

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Shell announces new natural gas discoveries in Egypt’s Western Desert

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Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 22.18.50Wed Aug 31, 2016 1:31pm EDT

Royal Dutch Shell announced on Wednesday new natural gas discoveries in a concession area of north Alam El-Shawish in Egypt’s western desert.

The initial quantities discovered were estimated at about half a trillion cubic feet of gas with more possible reserves, Eden Murphy, chairman and CEO of Shell said in a statement.

The discovery could produce from 10 to 15 percent of the total production of Badr el-Din Petroleum company, which is a joint venture acting on behalf of the state-owned Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) and Shell in production operations, Murphy added.

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Shell’s U.S deal to unlock global oil asset disposals

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* Shell lines up large North Sea asset sale

* In talks to sell out of Gabon, NZealand, Thailand, Tunisia

* Gulf of Mexico deal sets deal value at $60/bbl

* Shell seeks to sell $6-$8 bln of assets in 2016

By Ron Bousso: Wed Aug 31, 2016

LONDON, Royal Dutch Shell’s first oil field sale after its $54 billion BG Group acquisition bodes well for its disposal talks in the North Sea, Gabon and New Zealand, according to sources, signalling buyers will meet its expectations on value.

The $425 million deal in the Gulf of Mexico is welcome news for the Anglo-Dutch oil and gas giant which has struggled to kick off its plan to dispose of $30 billion of assets by 2018 or so in order to pay for the February deal and maintain a generous dividend policy amid soaring debt.

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Motiva says Shell, Saudi Aramco to split assets on April 1, 2017

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By Erwin Seba | HOUSTON: Wed Aug 31, 2016

Motiva Enterprises LLC [MOTIV.UL] said on Tuesday the division of its U.S. refining assets between Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSa.L) and Saudi Aramco IPO-ARMO.SE would take place on April 1, 2017, months later than originally expected.

The two Motiva partners announced last March they would divide their 20-year-old joint venture. The split, according to sources, had been expected to take place this October after completion of negotiations between Shell and Saudi Aramco over the division of assets and compensation due the partners.

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UK Government must take “ethical lead” on Shell’s Brent decommissioning plans

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Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 22.18.50Written by Mark Lammey – 30/08/2016 2:02 pm

An Aberdeen-based oil and gas industry expert has called on the UK Government to take an “ethical lead” on offshore decommissioning.

Alex Russell, professor of petroleum accounting at Robert Gordon University, said Shell’s plans to leave large amounts of infrastructure from its Brent field in the North Sea set a bad example for developing countries.

Prof Russell said the UK Government should order a complete clearance of the seabed now, instead of leaving future generations to deal with “unknown consequences”.

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Shell Says While Gas Is the Future, It Won’t Be Traded Like Oil

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At the moment, there is a global glut of natural gas…

Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 22.18.50By Kelly Gilblom and Rakteem Katakey: August 30, 2016

Natural gas is rapidly becoming one of the most traded global commodities, but that doesn’t mean it will have a global price, according to Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

While the fuel can be transported anywhere on liquefied natural gas carriers, it will probably remain regionally priced for the time being, with some contracts continuing to track oil, said Roger Bounds, senior vice president for global gas at Shell. Prices will depend on location, regulation and infrastructure, as some countries replace coal in electricity generation to cut carbon emissions.

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Eiffel Towers in the North Sea – Shell’s decommissioning plans another Brent Spar PR disaster?

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Alex Russell and Peter Strachan: from Robert Gordon University

TUESDAY, AUGUST 30, 2016

Shell is preparing to start the decommissioning of its four gigantic oil platforms in the famous Brent field in the Scottish part of the North Sea – a huge undertaking. Unfortunately, write Professor Alex Russell of the Oil Industry Finance Association and Professor Peter Strachan of Robert Gordon University, the company plans to dismantle only the topsides of the platforms. It wants to leave the Eiffel-tower sized legs, including 64 giant storage cells at the base of these structures, in place. They will take hundreds of years to disintegrate. Russell and Strachan call on the UK government and other North Sea governments to call a halt to these plans. They also demand that the Scottish government will have a say in the project.

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Shell’s U.S. oilfield sale may bode well for disposal program

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…analysts also say further deals may prove harder to clinch

Aug 30 2016, 11:47 ET | By: Carl Surran, SA News Editor

Analysts say Royal Dutch Shell’s (RDS.A, RDS.B) first oilfield sale after its BG Group acquisition bodes well for its sale talks in the North Sea, Gabon and New Zealand, signaling that buyers will meet the company’s expectations on value.

The $425M sale of the Brutus/Glider fields has an implied oil price of ~$60/bbl, more than $10/bbl above current prices, according to UBS analysts who say “we may now be entering a period where both buyer and seller can see acceptable relative value, unlocking the A&D [acquisition and divestiture] market.”

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Shell share price: Private equity-backed firms eye group’s North Sea assets

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Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 22.18.50Anglo-Dutch oil major agrees to offload certain assets in Gulf of Mexico

by Tsveta ZikolovaTuesday, 30 Aug 2016, 09:00 BST

Investment companies backed by some of the world’s biggest private equity groups have expressed interest in Royal Dutch Shell’s (LON:RDSA) North Sea assets, the Financial Times has reported. The Anglo-Dutch oil major has unveiled plans to sell some $30 billion worth of assets across its global portfolio over the next three years or so is it looks to shore up its balance sheet in the wake of its acquisition of BG Group which completed earlier this year.

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Shell takes cash offer for Gulf of Mexico assets

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By Daniel J. Graeber: Aug 30, 2016

HOUSTON, Aug. 30 (UPI) — In a deal that included $425 million in cash, Royal Dutch Shell said it sold off its entire stake in assets held in the U.S. waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Shell said the sale of the 100 percent stake of three blocks known collectively as the Brutus/Glider assets to EnVen Energy Corp. was in line with the company’s divestment strategy. In July, the company’s chief executive officer, Ben van Buerden, said “significant and lasting changes” were underway as lower crude oil prices continued to present problems for the industry.

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Shell Australia attacks Victoria’s ban on fracking, gas moratorium

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John Dagge, Herald Sun: August 30, 2016 

SHELL Australia has blasted the Victorian government’s move to permanently ban fracking and extend a moratorium on conventional onshore gas development, saying it will result in higher energy bills.

Chairman Andrew Smith has also warned the decision will cost the state investment dollars and jobs and make it more difficult for manufacturers, already under pressure, to stay in business.

“Every Victorian household and business will now pay higher energy prices moving forward,” Mr Smith said.

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Oil market rebalancing could take until end 2017: Shell

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Mon Aug 29, 2016 2:01pm EDT

By Karolin Schaps | STAVANGER, NORWAY

The huge global oil oversupply that has weighed on prices for the past two years may not clear until the second half of 2017, Shell’s chief energy adviser Wim Thomas told Reuters.

The potential return to the market of some 1.5 million barrels per day of supply from Libya and Nigeria and uncertainty about Iranian and Iraqi production levels could push a rebalancing further away than many in the oil industry are hoping.

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Shell Divests Gulf Of Mexico Assets For $425 Million Plus Royalty Interests

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Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 22.18.50AUG 29, 2016, 15:27 ET

HOUSTON, Aug. 29, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Royal Dutch Shell plc, through its affiliate Shell Offshore Inc. (Shell), today announces it has an agreement to sell 100 percent of its record title interest in Gulf of Mexico Green Canyon Blocks 114, 158, 202 and 248, referred to as the Brutus/Glider assets, to EnVen Energy Corporation, through its affiliate EnVen Energy Ventures, LLC.  In line with Shell’s global divestment plans, this transaction includes $425 million in cash. 

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Shell’s Ben van Beurden calls on industry to be “contrarian in the room”

Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 18.40.18Written by Rita Brown – 29/08/2016 12:27 pm

Shell’s chief executive Ben van Beurden called on the industry to be the “contrarian in the room” and speak the “undeniable truth” about energy’s future.

The company leader addressed the delegation at this year’s ONS, tackling climate change and the influence of the Paris climate agreement.

The chief executive opened by saying: “There is a classic story about one of the most famous Norwegians of all time, the playwright Henrik Ibsen. Lying on his sickbed, he overheard his nurse saying that he was a bit better that day.

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Oil giant Shell ‘very serious’ about pursuing offshore wind

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By Darius Snieckus in Stavanger

Monday, August 29 2016

Oil giant Shell is gearing up to “actively compete” in the global offshore wind power market, following a U-turn in its strategic direction, its chief energy adviser said today.

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Joint-venture partners in Browse open to new options

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BRIDGET CARTER, GRETCHEN FRIEMANN:

  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM August 30, 2016

The one thing that the Woodside Petroleum-led Browse project has never had much of is unity among the project partners. But that may quietly be changing.

DataRoom understands that the various joint-venture partners in Browse are open to new development options for the project, and that the pipeline option floated by Woodside last week is increasingly being seen by all the partners as the most sensible plan as it stands today.

Woodside chief Peter Coleman told journalists on Friday that the option of connecting Browse to the big but ageing North West Shelf liquefied natural gas plant via a massive 1000km subsea pipeline was back on the table.

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Shell CEO sees oil demand up by 1-1.5 mln barrels/day per year

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Screen Shot 2016-07-29 at 16.46.22The CEOs of Shell and ConocoPhillips made the following comments to the ONS oil conference in Stavanger, Norway, on Monday:

* Shell CEO Ben van Beurden says sees increase in oil demand of 1-1.5 million barrels per day per year

* Shell CEO says sees future oil demand more dictated by consumer decisions rather than producers’ decisions

* ConocoPhillips CEO Ryan Lance says carbon price needs to be $100 or more to reach climate target

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Shell’s North Sea assets draw eye of private equity-backed groups

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A significant downsizing…

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 08.09.54August 29, 2016

Investment companies backed by some of the world’s biggest private equity groups have expressed interest in North Sea assets being sold by Royal Dutch ShellShell insists it will not abandon the North Sea, where it has 33 platforms and interests in 65 fields. Further multibillion-dollar investment is planned in two big developments — Clair and Schiehallion — west of the Shetland Islands. However, Shell is looking to sell a range of older assets, as well as stakes in newer fields, in what would amount to a significant downsizing, according to people involved in the process.

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Is energy industry ready to join open source world?

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By David Hunn: August 26, 2016

Landmark, a technology unit of the energy services company Halliburton, is betting that it is, unveiling a cloud-computing platform last week that will allow companies to collaborate on developing software to process the massive volumes of data they collect on everything from geology to seismology to chemistry to drilling to flows of oil and gas. The idea is that easy and open access to the code on which the platform is based will lead to faster and better analysis of the data and ultimately to innovations that allow the industry to extract more oil and gas at lower costs.

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Why I’ve sold all of my Shell and BP shares, by manager of £543 million

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Screen Shot 2016-07-29 at 16.46.22Bailey concluded his comments with the remark that the Shell dividend is uncovered. That means the company is not generating enough cash to pay the dividend itself.

David Thorpe 25 Aug 2016

Stephen Bailey, who runs the Liontrust Macro Equity Income fund has revealed the reasons why he has sold all of his shares in Shell and BP.

He began selling his Shell shares about a year ago, and completed the sale, ‘during the month of August’ 2016.

Bailey commented, ‘A year ago we had 9 per cent of the fund in oil, now it’s zero. You have to look at the macro view on this, and be very concerned about the oil market. The big suppliers in the market can no longer be controlled by OPEC, the Saudis recently announced an initiative called project 2030 which is aimed at boosting other areas of the economy, and they are doing that because they expect to receive less revenue from fossil fuels in the future.’  

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Shell Can’t Duck Crude Manipulation Suit, Judge Told

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By Kevin Penton

Law360, New York (August 24, 2016, 8:24 PM ET) —

Two Royal Dutch Shell PLC affiliates accused of manipulating crude market prices cannot use the Second Circuit’s recent nix of aluminum futures price-fixing claims to escape the allegations the pair face, landowner and derivatives trader plaintiffs told a New York federal court Wednesday.

The appeals court on Aug. 9 had ruled that manufacturers and buyers of aluminum products could not sue Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Glencore PLC, because the plaintiffs were not directly targeted in the alleged scheme to fix prices…

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Can OPEC save BP plc and Royal Dutch Shell plc?

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By Ian Pierce – Thursday, 25 August, 2016

Oil majors must long for the halcyon days when a sustained period of low crude prices could be expected to send OPEC riding to the rescue with sweeping production cuts and a promise to boost global prices. Now, two years into a global supply glut that shows few signs of lifting, do oil majors need an OPEC to finally take action?

BP (LSE: BP) wouldn’t say no to the help. Interim results released last month saw underlying replacement cost profits, its preferred metric of profitability, slump 67% year-on-year. Add in a $2bn statutory loss for the period and net debt leaping to $30.9bn and worries have rightly begun to proliferate that dividends will be slashed sooner rather than later.

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Oil major debt climbs to record high as crude prices continue to wallow

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Billy Bambrough is City A.M.’s deputy news editor. Wednesday 24 August 2016

Some of the biggest global oil majors are being weighed down by record levels of debt.

Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, BP and Chevron hold a combined net debt of $184bn (£138bn) — more than double their debt levels in 2014, according to analysis by the Wall Street Journal.

The drop in the oil price has been blamed for the soaring debt levels. The price of a barrel of oil remains less than half of what it was in the summer of 2014.

The enduring low oil price and soaring debt levels have caused some investors to question whether the majors will be able to fork out for new investments and dividends in coming quarters.

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Largest Oil Companies’ Debts Hit Record High

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By SELINA WILLIAMS and BRADLEY OLSON: Aug. 24, 2016 

Executives at BP, Shell, Exxon and Chevron have assured investors that they will generate enough cash in 2017 to pay for new investments and dividends, but some shareholders are skeptical. In the first half of 2015, the companies fell short of that goal by $40 billion, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of their numbers.

“Eventually something will give,” said Michael Hulme, manager of the $550 million Carmignac Commodities Fund, which holds stakes in Shell and Exxon. “These companies won’t be able to maintain the current dividends at $50 to $60 oil—it’s unsustainable.”

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Idemitsu founding family crosses a line with the Saudis

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HIROFUMI MATSUO, Nikkei senior staff writer

TOKYO — Idemitsu Kosan‘s founding family is treading on treacherous ground as it attempts to block a planned merger with Showa Shell Sekiyu.

The family’s opposition to the deal, struck last November, has baffled the rest of the Japanese oil industry and apparently riled Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter. The future of Japan’s second-largest oil distributor hangs in the balance. 

Speculation about Saudi anger has swirled in the Japanese oil sector since the family’s stance came to light in late June. Saudi Arabian Oil Co., better known as Saudi Aramco, the kingdom’s state oil company, is Showa Shell’s No. 2 shareholder, after Royal Dutch Shell. The Saudi company intends to retain a stake in the new entity created through the Idemitsu-Showa Shell merger. Under the proposal, Idemitsu would buy Showa Shell shares held by Royal Dutch Shell.

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Nigeria: Rethinking NNPC’s Oil Search in the North

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 11.21.47The Niger Delta, which largely dominates the oil-rich Gulf of Guinea, did not join the league of other oil-producing regions in the United Kingdom’s North Sea, United States’ Gulf of Mexico and the Middle East’s Persian Gulf through the efforts of the federal government or the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

It was the private sector-led initiative that catapulted the Niger Delta to its current influential position in the global energy dynamics.

The NNPC, which started as the Nigerian National Oil Corporation (NNOC), established by Decree No. 18 of 1971 before the NNPC Decree of 1977 was promulgated, did not initiate the search for crude oil in Nigeria.

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Reuters: Partial restart of Motiva Convent hydrocracker seen by year-end

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Aug 22 2016, 14:58 ET | By: Carl Surran, SA News Editor

Motiva Enterprises’ 235K bbl/day Convent, La., refinery plans a partial restart of the heavy oil hydrocracking unit by year-end, but full production is not expected to return before fall 2017 as repairs are made from the Aug. 11 fire, Reuters reports, citing Gulf Coast market sources.

In addition to extensive repairs required to return the 45K bbl/day hydrocracker, Motiva will revamp the unit during the shutdown for the planned linking of the Convent refinery with the company’s refinery in Norco, La., sometime next year, according to the report.

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Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron Corporation: Is it Time to Leave Nigeria?

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Bidness Etc discusses how militant groups are affecting operations of foreign energy companies in Nigeria

By Staff Writer on Aug 22, 2016

Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A), Chevron, and other energy companies are losing hope in the Nigerian government as the safety conditions of the country are not showing signs of improvement. Although on Saturday, the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) agreed on a ceasefire, the emergence of other militant groups along with low probability of a deal between the officials and the groups anytime soon has raised doubt about the country’s oil and gas sector recovery.

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How sustainable is Royal Dutch Shell plc’s 6% yield?

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By Prabhat Sakya – Monday, 22 August, 2016

Royal Dutch Shell (LSE:RDSB) is a £75bn company listed on the FTSE 100. It explores for, produces and refines both oil and gas products and has a long and proud dividend history. In February 2016 it acquired gas firm BG, meaning it now produces more gas than oil. So far, so straightforward.

But it has been hit hard by falling commodity prices, as both the value of oil and gas have tumbled over the past year.

Shell was hugely profitable

Currently Shell pays out a 6.1% dividend yield. That’s a high income, and it gives the company strong appeal to dividend investors. The question is, how sustainable is that yield?

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‘Business as usual’ for Shell in New Zealand

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 08.11.41Written by Mark Lammey – 22/08/2016 7:47 am

Shell’s New Zealand boss has reportedly said business was proceeding “as usual” amid reports the company was planning to divest its entire $1billion-plus portfolio in the country.

Australian media reports said late last week that JP Morgan had been hired to offload Shell’s assets, which were placed under review by the oil giant in December.

But Rob Jager told New Zealand media outlets the company was still looking at a range of options and that it was “business as usual”.

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Anger in the Delta keeps oil majors quiet – and Nigeria’s crude offline

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By Libby George and Ulf Laessing | LONDON/LAGOS

Oil companies and even Nigerian officials are losing faith in a deal anytime soon with militants who have slashed the nation’s oil output, casting doubt on a production recovery in what is typically Africa’s largest oil exporter.

In the six months since the first major attack on Nigeria’s oil – a sophisticated bombing of the subsea Forcados pipeline – dozens of attacks have pushed outages to more than 700,000 barrels per day (bpd), the highest in seven years.

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Shell looks to divest NZ assets

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Shell is preparing to sell all or some of its New Zealand operations, which carry an estimated value of more than $1 billion.break

Following inquiries by the ODT, Shell New Zealand country chairman Rob Jager confirmed speculation this week that investment bank giant JPMorgan had been appointed to support any sales process.

“Shell continues to explore a range of options for some or all of Shell’s assets in New Zealand. JP Morgan has been appointed to support this process,” Mr Jager said in a brief note, being unavailable for an interview.

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Can we still be sure of Shell?

Screen Shot 2016-08-19 at 09.42.13By Kevin Godbold – Friday, 19 August, 2016

Our investing forefathers used to trot out the maxim ‘never sell Shell’. Years ago, Shell was a fast-growing business in a fast-growing market, so holding on to Shell shares indefinitely made more sense back then than it does now.   

Today, Royal Dutch Shell (LSE: RDSB) is a mature business in a mature market and its fortunes tend to ebb and flow with the undulations of wider macroeconomic cycles. Adopting a long-term buy-and-hold strategy for Shell now seems inappropriate.

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Houston to be ethane source point for Shell pipeline project

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By Michael BradwellAugust 17, 2016

A subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell plans to build a 94-mile pipeline to carry ethane to the cracker plant Shell is preparing to build in Beaver County.

According to a statement released Wednesday by Shell spokesman Ray Fisher, the pipeline will carry ethane produced by natural gas drilling companies in the tri-state area.

The project will be built by Shell Pipeline Co. LP, and will be located in Southwestern Pennsylvania and extend into West Virginia and Ohio.

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Exxon, Motiva refineries continue reduced operations amid floods

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Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:18pm EDT

Exxon Mobil Corp and Motiva Enterprises refineries continued to operate at reduced levels amidst flood waters in southern Louisiana, sources familiar with operations at each refinery said on Thursday.

An Exxon spokeswoman said the Baton Rouge Complex, which includes a 502,500 bpd refinery, continued to operate on Thursday, but declined to discuss the level of production or the status of specific units. The Baton Rouge refinery is the fourth largest in the United States.

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Nigeria recorded 1,600 cases of pipeline vandalism in eight months – Kachikwu

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By Daily Post Staff on August 18, 2016

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, says Nigeria has recorded 1,600 cases of pipeline vandalism since January.

Kachikwu made the disclosure at the 2016 Annual Conference of National Association of Energy Correspondents with the theme, “Low Oil Price: Impact and the Way Forward”, in Lagos on Thursday.

The minister also said that the country recorded over 3,000 pipeline vandalism cases from 2010 to 2015.

He said that the impact of attacks on oil and gas pipelines was that there was no money to fund the 2016 budget.

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Shell advises JPMorgan to sell $1bn NZ oil portfolio

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BRIDGET CARTERMergers & Acquisitions Editor, Sydney

GRETCHEN FRIEMANNMergers & Acquisitions Editor, Sydney

19 August 2016

Shell has called on investment bank JPMorgan to offload its $1 billion-plus portfolio of oil exploration and production assets in New Zealand, with some analysts questioning whether Australian players will express interest in the offering.

It comes as part of a global selldown by the oil and gas giant, which signalled a retreat from various markets, amid a $US30bn ($39bn) global asset sale plan following its $US50bn takeover of BG Group.

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Cash flow problems at Shell?

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By Roland Head – Wednesday, 17 August, 2016

Oil and gas giants Royal Dutch Shell (LSE: RDSB) and (LSE: BP) have been among the top performers in the FTSE 100 so far this year. Shell stock is worth 31% more than at the start of January, while BP is up 23%.

But these gains don’t seem to reflect the weak state of the oil market or both companies’ rapidly-growing debt piles. Are investors turning a blind eye to the risk of a dividend cut in pursuit of the 7% yields available on both stocks?

Cash flow problems at Shell?

Shell’s interim results showed that the firm’s net debt has rocketed from $25.9bn one year ago to $75.1bn today. Much of this is due to the BG acquisition. I expect Shell to be able to refinance a lot of BG’s debt at much lower interest rates than those paid by BG.

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Holy Grail of energy policy in sight as battery technology smashes the old order

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AMBROSE EVANS-PRITCHARD10 AUGUST 2016 

The world’s next energy revolution is probably no more than five or ten years away. Cutting-edge research into cheap and clean forms of electricity storage is moving so fast that we may never again need to build 20th Century power plants in this country, let alone a nuclear white elephant such as Hinkley Point.

The US Energy Department is funding 75 projects developing electricity storage, mobilizing teams of scientists at Harvard, MIT, Stanford, and the elite Lawrence Livermore and Oak Ridge labs in a bid for what it calls the ‘Holy Grail’ of energy policy.

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The Panama Shortcut

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Jon Asmundsson: August 15, 2016

When the sun rose over the Caribbean Sea on July 25, the Maran Gas Apollonia was churning toward the new Panama Canal with a shipment of U.S. liquefied natural gas that it had loaded at Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana. Tugs guided the 90,434-ton tanker into the first of the Panama Canal’s new Agua Clara Locks. The gates closed, and water filled the first chamber. That night the vessel passed through Gatun Lake and the new Cocoli Locks and entered the Pacific Ocean, becoming the first LNG tanker to transit the expanded shipping lane that opened in June. Built in 2014, the Royal Dutch Shell-chartered tanker is about 13 meters (43 feet) wider than the largest ships the old locks could handle. The expansion opens the Panama Canal to about 90 percent of the world’s LNG fleet, up from less than 10 percent, allowing these football-field-size tankers to shave 11 days and one-third the cost of the typical round trip to Asia. In July the U.S. Department of Energy predicted 550 tankers could be crossing each year by 2021.

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Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A): Declaration of Force Majeure; Crude Price Rally Underway?

Screen Shot 2016-08-14 at 11.56.06With the recent shutdown of pipeline owned by the energy giant in Nigeria coupled with the pipeline outages and militants attacks, we forecast a crude price rally

By Staff Writer on Aug 14, 2016 at 6:34 am EST

Following a string of attacks on its oil facilities combined with pipeline outages in Nigeria, Royal Dutch Shell (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A) has finally declared a force majeure on Bonny Light crude oil. Citing statement by the company on Friday, Reuters reported that the Nembe Creek Trunk Line (NCTL) was shut down after a leakage by Aiteo, the pipeline’s operator. Aiteo was unavailable to comment on the matter.

Natasha Obank, spokesperson for the company stated: “The pipeline has been shut down for a joint investigation visit into the cause of the leak and repairs.”

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Large cruise ship voyage through Arctic ice rekindles rows

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Screen Shot 2016-08-13 at 21.48.04Terry MacalisterSaturday 13 August 2016 07.00 BST

Arguments around the Arctic have more recently centred on oil company drilling such as Shell’s controversial and now abandoned attempts to explore off the coast of Alaska and new plans to open up the Norwegian far north.

But the increasing scope for industrialising the region as the ice melts has also triggered geopolitical tensions and talk of a new cold war because the legal status of who owns what up there is uncertain.

FULL ARTICLE

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Motiva Convent refinery HCU surrounded by high water: sources

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Fri Aug 12, 2016 3:06pm EDT

The fire-damaged hydrocracking unit at Motiva Enterprises’ [MOTIV.UL] 235,000 barrel per day (bpd) Convent, Louisiana, refinery was surrounded by high water on Friday from heavy rains overnight, sources familiar with plant operations said.

A Motiva spokeswoman on Friday did not discuss high water at the refinery in a email reply to questions from Reuters.

“Although the weather is challenging, the refinery is running and making product,” said Motiva spokeswoman Angela Goodwin.

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Motiva Convent refinery fire out, HCU heavily damaged -sources

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Screen Shot 2016-08-11 at 22.04.57By Erwin Seba and Liz Hampton | HOUSTON: Thu Aug 11, 2016 6:41pm EDT

A blaze broke out on Thursday at Motiva Enterprises [MOTIV.UL] 235,000 barrel per day (bpd) Convent, Louisiana refinery, heavily damaging the structure of the heavy oil hydrocracker before being extinguished in the afternoon, sources familiar with plant operations said.

Motiva confirmed that the fire was extinguished and said there were no injuries.

Initial assessments by Motiva indicated that repairs to 45,000 bpd HCU, called the H-Oil unit, are expected to take between one and four months, the sources said. Little damage was seen to the unit’s reactors, they said.

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Fire causes evacuation of Motiva refinery in Louisiana

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Fire causes evacuation of Motiva refinery in Louisiana

Aug 11 2016, 16:39 ET | By: Carl Surran, SA News Editor

A large fire at the 235K bbl/day Motiva Enterprises refinery in Louisiana today forced workers to evacuate, causing a key distillation unit to shut and boosting prices of oil products.

The fire, which reportedly started in the 45K bbl/day heavy oil hydrocracker unit, is still burning but is now under control; it is not yet known what caused the fire or how long it would take to repair any damage, which could take months to fix if the fire damaged the reactors.

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No injuries after large fire at Motiva plant

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1:57 PM. CDT August 11, 2016

CONVENT, La. – A major fire rocked the Shell Motiva oil refinery in Convent, Louisiana shortly before 11 a.m. Thursday. According to a Motiva spokesperson, “Motiva’s Convent Refinery experienced a fire involving one of its units.” A large amount of fire and plumes of black smoke could be seen for miles in the area.

The general manager of the Motiva plant said that no one at the plant, either Motiva employees or contract workers – a total of about 1,400 people – were injured as a result of the fire. He also said that there was no explosion.

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Exclusive: Iraq, oil companies agree to restart investment, boost output

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Exclusive: Iraq, oil companies agree to restart investment, boost output

BAGHDAD/BASRA – | BY AHMED RASHEED AND AREF MOHAMMED: Business | Thu Aug 11, 2016 7:05am EDT

Iraq has reached agreement with BP, Shell and Lukoil to restart stalled investment in oil fields the firms are developing, allowing projects that were halted this year to resume and crude production to increase in 2017, Iraqi oil officials said.

The agreements, reached in July and August, effectively delay to the second half of the year projects that the three companies had planned to carry out in the first half, which had been suspended because of low oil prices.

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Shell’s “ballooning” debt could put 7.5% dividend at risk, analyst says

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Aug 10 2016, 14:57 ET | By: Carl Surran, SA News Editor

Royal Dutch Shell’s (RDS.A, RDS.B) 7.5% dividend could be at risk because of its “ballooning” debt, says Raymond James analyst Jean-Pierre Dmirdjian, adding that the concerns outweigh the longer-term appeal of the company’s transformation story.

The analyst says his fair value of ~$27/share makes Shell seem like a potential buy, but it is “too soon to be charmed by the reshaping plan” announced in June.

James notes the “unsupportive oil price environment [which] puts a strain on cash flow” and makes debt reduction an increasing priority; the firm reiterates its Market Perform rating on the stock.

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