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Big Oil’s Plan to Buy Into the Shale Boom

by Javier Blas: 21 March 2017, 10:26 GMT

Big Oil is muscling in on shale country.

Exxon Mobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Chevron Corp., are jumping into American shale with gusto, planning to spend a combined $10 billion this year, up from next to nothing only a few years ago.

The giants are gaining a foothold in West Texas with such projects as Bongo 76-43, a well which is being drilled 10,000 feet beneath the table-flat, sage-scented desert, and which then extends horizontally for a mile, blasting through rock to capture light crude from the sprawling Permian Basin.

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Shell cuts debt with US$7.25 billion sale of Canada oil sands

9 March 2017

TORONTO (BLOOMBERG) – Royal Dutch Shell will sell almost all its production assets in Canada’s oil sands in a US$7.25 billion (S$10.24 billion) deal that cuts debt and reduces involvement in one of the most environmentally damaging forms of fossil-fuel extraction.

The company will sell all of its oil-sands interests apart from a 10 per cent stake in the Athabasca Oil Sands mining project, The Hague-based Shell said on Thursday (March 9). It will also continue as operator of the Scotford upgrader and Quest carbon capture and storage project.

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Saudi Aramco to Pay Shell $2.2 Billion in Refinery Breakup

by Javier Blas, Joe Carroll, and Margot Habiby: 7 March 2017

Saudi Arabian Oil Co. will pay Royal Dutch Shell Plc $2.2 billion including debt to finalize the breakup of a 19-year refining partnership known as Motiva Enterprises LLC.Saudi Aramco’s Saudi Refining unit will take full ownership of the Motiva Enterprises name and legal entity, including the largest refinery in the U.S. at Port Arthur in Texas, and 24 distribution terminals, according to a joint statement. Shell will take sole ownership of the Norco and Convent refineries in Louisiana and 11 distribution terminals.

Aramco will make a $2.2 billion balancing payment, split between debt and cash and subject to adjustments including working capital, Shell said in a separate statement. Aramco will assume almost all of Motiva’s $3.2 billion of net debt, including $1.5 billion of Shell’s share. A cash payment will cover the balance, Shell said. The arrangement will also take the Anglo-Dutch company closer to its target of selling $30 billion of assets in the three years to 2018.

“Motiva is a strong competitor among U.S. refiners, and we value this important link with the dynamic U.S. energy sector,” said Abdulaziz Al-Judaimi, senior vice president of Aramco’s downstream business. “Our intent is to continue providing Motiva with strong financial support as it transitions into a stand-alone downstream affiliate.”

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BP, Shell Investor Wants CEO Pay Policy Change After Revolt

by Rakteem Katakey:2 March 2017

The pay of bosses at Europe’s biggest oil companies is back in focus as shareholders prepare to scrutinize BP Plc’s new policy after rejecting Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley’s remuneration last year.

Allianz Global Investors, among the top 25 holders of BP and Royal Dutch Shell Plc shares, wants the companies to base top executives’ pay and bonuses on per-share metrics rather than absolute numbers for cash flow and profit, said Rohan Murphy, an analyst at the investment firm. This will help align the management with shareholders’ interests and ensure profitability becomes more important, he said.

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Hindenburg Memories Cloud Shell’s Vision of Hydrogen Future

by Jess Shankleman

28 February 2017, 00:01 GMT 28 February 2017, 08:27 GMT

Taxi driver Theo Ellis, the first person in Europe to drive Toyota Motor Corp.’s hydrogen-powered Mirai sedan for business, loves telling passengers about the technology that emits nothing but water.

They ask him about its costs, greenness, and the majority inquire about safety. To his passengers, the word “hydrogen” evokes memories of the Hindenburg, the airship that was destroyed in half a minute when it caught fire in 1937, or the H-bomb, a successor to what the U.S. dropped on Japan to end World War II.

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Shell Shuns New Oil-Sands Projects as Low Prices Force Cost Control

by Rakteem Katakey: 27 February 2017, 14:52 GMT

Royal Dutch Shell Plc is unlikely to take on new oil-sands projects as it maintains a grip on costs after crude’s crash forced competitors to write down Canadian reserves.

While Shell’s existing oil-sands operations generate strong cash flows, the expense of developing new projects discourages additional investments, Chief Executive Officer Ben Van Beurden said in an interview.

Oil sands, the reserves of heavy crude found primarily in northern Alberta, lured investors in the past decade as oil’s surge above $100 a barrel made the difficult extraction process economic. But they’ve fallen out of favor following the subsequent market collapse as companies dump expensive projects amid fears that competition from low-cost crude could strand costlier assets.

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Shell Looks Beyond Dutch Waters for Offshore Wind Investments

by Jess Shankleman

22 February 2017, 14:23 GMT

Royal Dutch Shell Plc may contract to build offshore wind farms in the U.K. and across Europe, after winning a bid to build one of the cheapest projects on record last year, Shell U.K. chair Sinead Lynch, said in an interview.

Europe’s biggest oil supplier is exploring opportunities across Europe for offshore wind, Lynch said at a press event on Wednesday at a Shell service station outside London, where she was opening the company’s first U.K. hydrogen refueling station.

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Shell and Toyota Partner on California Fueling Stations for Hydrogen Cars

By Craig Trudell , Yuki Hagiwara , and John Lippert

20 February 2017, 20:30 GMT: 21 February 2017, 00:21 GMT

Royal Dutch Shell Plc will build seven fueling stations for hydrogen cars in California through a partnership with Toyota Motor Corp., laying down their latest bet on the demise of the internal-combustion engine.

The stations will nudge the state closer to its goal of having 100 retail sites by 2024 where hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles can fill up. The California Energy Commission is considering $16.4 million in grants toward the stations, with Shell and Toyota contributing $11.4 million.

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Shell Shakes Up Oil Trading World With Brash Brent Buying Sprees

Laura Hurst and Javier Blas: 20 February 2017

The giant tankers anchored along the Scottish coast in the Firth of Forth weren’t going anywhere. They were just providing floating storage because there was no demand for their cargo, North Sea crude oil.

But the flickering computer screens in the world’s trading rooms told a different story. Prices through the month of April were jumping, showing someone was buying, stunning traders and leaving some with heavy losses. That wasn’t the only bizarre gyration last year in the market for Brent, whose price determines the cost of just about every petroleum-based product, from jet fuel to plastic spoons. Such unusual moves damaged confidence so much that some traders retreated from the market.

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OPEC Output Cuts End Big Oil’s Trading Bonanza

The oil-trading boom that cushioned the profits of Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BP Plc through the price slump of 2015 and early 2016 is over.

BP said on Tuesday it made a “small” loss trading oil in the fourth quarter, while Shell last week said trading profits “flattened” in late 2016. The fall off in trading contributed to worse-than-expected fourth-quarter profits at Europe’s largest oil and gas producers.

Although better known for their oilfields, refineries and gas stations, Shell and BP are the world’s top energy traders, handling about 20 percent of global oil demand between them and dwarfing independent trading houses such as Vitol Group BV, Trafigura Group and Glencore Plc.

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Shell To Sell Another $5B In Assets, Misses Profit Expectations

By Tsvetana Paraskova – Feb 02, 2017, 3:03 PM CST

Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS.A) is making “significant progress” on selling another US$5 billion worth of assets, chief financial officer Simon Henry said on Thursday after the oil supermajor reported 2016 profits below analyst expectations.

Shell’s current cost of supplies (CCS) – a key measure comparable with net income – came in at US$1.8 billion, excluding identified items, compared with US$1.6 billion for the fourth quarter 2015, the company said today. Full-year 2016 CCS earnings attributable to shareholders excluding identified items dropped to US$7.2 billion from US$11.4 billion in 2015.

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This Is Who Will Pay for Shutting Down North Sea Oil Rigs

Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s $3.8 billion sale of North Sea oil and gas fields creates a model for further transactions in a region where the question of who pays to remove decades-old offshore platforms has been an obstacle for other deals.

Shell’s agreement with Chrysaor Holdings Ltd. included the condition that Europe’s largest oil company covers $1 billion in decommissioning costs, leaving the private-equity-backed explorer with an estimated $2.9 billion of liabilities. Sharing end-of-life costs between buyers and sellers is likely to remain the trend in the North Sea, where the billions of dollars of spending required to remove aging platforms and pipelines over the coming years presents a “real challenge” to deal-making, according to consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd.

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Shell’s North Sea Retreat

By Chris Hughes: Jan 31, 2017

Royal Dutch Shell Plc is selling more than half of its North Sea oil production. It may be a big pullback from Britain for the Anglo-Dutch oil major. But it’s clear the assets are better off with new owners and Shell is better off with the cash.

Running North Sea fields makes more sense for small firms that specialize in extracting every last bit of oil from mature acreage, leaving giants like Shell to focus on bigger, riskier projects elsewhere. The acquirer here, Chrysaor Holdings Ltd., is backed by U.S. investment fund EIG Global Energy Partners and run by seasoned North Sea experts. The chair is former Shell executive Linda Cook. Clearly for Shell this was a trusted buyer.

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Shell Sells $4.7 Billion of Fields as Disposal Push Accelerated

Royal Dutch Shell Plc, looking to pare debt swollen by last year’s acquisition of BG Group Plc, accelerated its drive to shed assets on Tuesday by agreeing to the sale of fields in the North Sea and Thailand for as much as $4.7 billion.

The disposals include the sale of about half the company’s North Sea oil and gas assets for as much as $3.8 billion to Chrysaor Holdings Ltd., Shell said. Earlier Tuesday, the company agreed to sell its stake in an offshore Thai gas field to a unit of Kuwait Petroleum Corp. for $900 million.

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Nigeria Tells Shell, Eni to Temporarily Cede Oil Field Control

by Yinka Ibukun and Elisha Bala-Gbogbo: 27 January 2017

A Nigerian court has ordered Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Eni SpA to cede control of a jointly owned oil license to the government amid an investigation into how they purchased the asset.

The companies’ control of Oil Prospecting License 245 is suspended pending “investigation and prosecution of suspects” including companies and individuals accused of possible “acts of conspiracy, bribery, official corruption and money laundering,” according to documents from the Federal High Court in Abuja.

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Canada Pension Said to Join Bid for Shell’s North Sea Assets

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board has joined a group that’s in advanced talks to buy a package of Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s U.K. North Sea assets for more than $2 billion, people familiar with the matter said.

Canada’s largest pension fund has joined Washington-based EIG Global Energy Partners and North Sea-explorer Chrysaor Holdings Ltd. to bid for the operations, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private.

The sale is a key part of Shell’s plans to divest about $30 billion in assets through 2018 to help offset the $54 billion acquisition of BG Group, which increased debt and lowered its credit rating. Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden has vowed to boost savings following a two-year slump in crude oil prices.

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Sabic Buys Out Shell in Saudi Petrochemical for $820 Million

Saudi Basic Industries Corp., the Middle East’s biggest petrochemicals producer, agreed to buy out Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s 50 percent stake in a Saudi joint venture for $820 million.

The Saudi Petrochemical Co. venture, known as SADAF, is ending earlier than the planned 2020 expiration, the Hague-based Shell said in an e-mailed statement Sunday. SADAF in Jubail, Saudi Arabia, has six petrochemicals plants with total production of about 4 million metric tons a year, it said.

Shell’s acquisition of BG Group Plc last year has turned its attention to restructuring its business and focusing on existing assets, and is sending “mixed signals about its desired role” in the Middle East, Arab Petroleum Investments Corp., the investment banking arm of Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries, said in a report last week. Shell in 2015 ended plans to build a $6.5 billion petrochemical plant in Qatar and last year exited a natural gas exploration venture in Abu Dhabi.

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Toyota, Shell Among Giants Betting $10.7 Billion on Hydrogen

by John Lippert: 17 January 2017, 21:00 GMT Updated on 18 January 2017, 00:23 GMT

Toyota Motor Corp. and four of its biggest car-making peers are joining oil and gas giants including Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Total SA with plans to invest a combined 10 billion euros ($10.7 billion) in hydrogen-related products within five years.

In all, 13 energy, transport and industrial companies are forming a hydrogen council to consult with policy makers and highlight its benefits to the public as the world seeks to switch from dirtier energy sources, according to a joint statement issued from Davos, Switzerland. The wager demonstrates that batteries aren’t the only way to reduce pollution from cars, homes and utilities that are contributing to climate change.

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Shell Pipeline Fire Threatens to Deepen Nigerian Oil Output Drop

by Elisha Bala-Gbogbo and Paul Burkhardt

5 January 2017, 14:21 GMT

Royal Dutch Shell Plc shut the Trans Niger oil pipeline after a fire, threatening to worsen a drop in Nigerian output due to unplanned disruptions.

The line can transport about 180,000 barrels a day to the Bonny Export Terminal in the Niger Delta was halted Tuesday due to a blaze at Kpor in Ogoniland, Precious Okolobo, a company spokesman in Lagos, said Thursday by phone. Shell declined to comment on the impact on production.

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‘’EVs, Solar Could Push Oil Down To $10 By 2025’’

By Charles Kennedy – Dec 20, 2016, 4:38 PM CST

That prediction comes from Engie SA’s innovation chief, Thierry Lepercq, who says that oil demand will be hit on multiple fronts. He lays out five tsunamis: solar power, battery storage, electric vehicles, “smart” buildings, and cheap hydrogen. “Even if oil demand continues to climb until 2025, its price could drop to $10 if markets anticipate a significant fall in demand,” Lepercq told Bloomberg in an interview. Solar, battery storage, electrical and hydrogen vehicles, and connected devices are in a ‘J’ curve,” he added. “Hydrogen is the missing link in a 100 percent renewable-energy system, but technological bricks already exist.”

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Shell’s CFO Pick Leaves Most Analysts Asking Simply ‘Who?’

by Rakteem Katakey: 15 December 2016, 16:47 GMT

Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s appointment of Jessica Uhl as finance chief on Thursday posed one simple question for many of the analysts who follow Europe’s largest oil company: “Who?”

The 48-year-old U.S. citizen, currently head of finance for Shell’s Integrated Gas unit — a key cash cow since this year’s acquisition of BG Group Plc — will take over from Simon Henry in March. Having been at the oil major for 12 years, exclusively in finance, she has “in-depth knowledge” to execute its cash-generation plans, according to Shell.

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Shell and Total Said to Sign Initial Oil Deals With Iran

by Hashem Kalantari , Sam Wilkin , and Golnar Motevalli

December 7, 2016 — 2:12 AM EST: Updated December 7, 2016 — 9:39 AM EST

Royal Dutch Shell Plc signed an agreement to assess three of Iran’s largest oil and gas fields as OPEC’s third-biggest producer looks to boost output with the help of international companies.

Shell signed a memorandum of understanding to evaluate the Azadegan and Yadavaran oil fields near the Iraqi border, and the Kish gas deposit in the Persian Gulf, Gholam-Reza Manouchehri, deputy director of the National Iranian Oil Co., said at a signing ceremony in Tehran on Wednesday.

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Shell to Start Feeling Norway Heat on Ormen Lange Gas Project

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By Mikael Holter: November 30, 2016 

Norway expects Royal Dutch Shell Plc to go forward with a shelved project to boost recovery of natural gas at the Ormen Lange field and warned it will start pushing the company for progress from next year.

“A clear message to Shell is that we expect that it seizes the opportunities that exist at Ormen Lange and comes to a decision to take this forward,” Bente Nyland, the head of the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, said in an interview in Oslo on Wednesday. “There are a lot of resources at Ormen and we have to get them out.”

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Kazakh President Says Partners in Shell Oil Field Face Tax Claim

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Nariman Gizitdinov and Torrey Clark: November 24, 2016 — 6:42 AM EST

Kazakhstan’s authorities are looking at whether the Karachaganak oil and gas venture, which includes Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Eni SpA, has unpaid taxes.

“The tax authorities have tax issues — they didn’t pay,” President Nursultan Nazarbayev said in an interview on Tuesday in Astana, without elaborating. He also confirmed the government is now seeking to change how revenue from the field is shared with the companies, which is allowed by the terms of the contract.

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Shell’s debts rise as it misses asset-sales target

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PUBLISHED NOV 19, 2016, 5:00 AM SGT

LONDON • Royal Dutch Shell is more than US$4 billion (S$5.71 billion) short of its asset-sales target for the year, prompting credit ratings agencies to warn that its record debt will not start shrinking soon enough.

Shell piled up borrowings following its biggest acquisition, the purchase of BG Group, and needs to hit disposal targets to help pay for it and stave off rating reviews, according to the agencies. The company sold US$1.7 billion of assets in the first nine months of this year, according to a Nov 1 statement, well short of its US$6 billion to US$8 billion guidance.

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Nigeria Reaches $5.1 Billion Debt Settlement With Oil Majors

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By Elisha Bala-Gbogbo and Rakteem Katakey: November 17, 2016

Nigeria reached a $5.1 billion settlement to reimburse foreign oil companies including Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell Plc for past operating costs.

The amount, less than the $6.8 billion previously discussed, will be settled through crude-oil sales over five years and will be interest free, Petroleum Minister Emmanuel Kachikwu told reporters in the capital, Abuja, Thursday.

“What we have been able to put together has enabled us to shave about $1.7 billion in savings for the federal government from the $6.8 billion that was owed,” he said. “The barrels to pay those will come from incremental barrels generated by the oil companies, not from the current 2.2 million-barrel-a-day production.

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Big Oil Looks Past Profit Crunch as Cash Flow Shows Recovery

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By Javier Blas: November 9, 2016

Ask any oil-company accountant, “what’s the difference between income and cash flow?” and they’re likely to say income makes the headlines, cash pays the bills.

It may be glib, but there’s a nub of truth there. Cash generation is the yardstick used to judge a company’s ability to invest and pay dividends, and it’s been growing at the biggest oil producers for three quarters in a row.

Last quarter the world’s largest listed energy companies — Exxon Mobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Chevron Corp., Total SA and BP Plc — reported cash from operations of almost $26 billion, up 67 percent from the previous three months and more than double the first-quarter amount, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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Shell, Total CEOs Question Solar in Room Full of Solar Investors

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By Anna Hirtenstein: 3 November 2016

When executives from some of the world’s biggest oil companies question the ability of solar energy to make money in a roomful of renewables investors, awkwardness ensues.

That’s what happened Thursday at the Energy for Tomorrow conference in Paris, where the chief executive officers of Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Total SA said solar power isn’t profitable.

“Growth of renewables has been remarkable but capacity of industry to make money in that segment has been remarkably absent,’’ Shell CEO Ben van Beurden said during a panel discussion. “The 10 largest solar companies collectively never paid a cent of dividends.’’

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Shell thinks demand for oil could peak in five years

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Written by Bloomberg – 02/11/2016 4:16 pm

Royal Dutch Shell Plc, the world’s second-biggest oil company by market value, thinks demand for oil could peak in as little as five years.

“We’ve long been of the opinion that demand will peak before supply,” Chief Financial Officer Simon Henry said on a conference call on Tuesday. “And that peak may be somewhere between 5 and 15 years hence, and it will be driven by efficiency and substitution, more than offsetting the new demand for transport.”

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Shell’s Record BG Deal Starts to Pay Off as Production Surges

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screen-shot-2016-11-01-at-16-01-19By Rakteem Katakey: November 1, 2016

Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s biggest takeover, the subject of intense investor scrutiny during crude’s collapse, is starting to pay off as Europe’s largest oil company chalks up its highest profit in five quarters.

The cash now generated by BG Group Plc — acquired by Shell for $54 billion in February — outstrips its spending, while production has risen by about a third in two years, Shell Chief Financial Officer Simon Henry said Tuesday. The integration of its assets has been completed “well ahead of time,” he said.

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Shell’s $78 Billion Escape Act

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screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-13-11-55By Chris HughesNov 1, 2016 8:38 AM EDT

Eight months on from the $64 billion acquisition of BG Group and Royal Dutch Shell PLC’s finances seem to be under greater strain than ever. The Anglo-Dutch oil major’s net borrowings stand at $78 billion and indebtedness is a smidgen below management’s self-imposed ceiling. Even as the benefits of buying BG are starting to show, the takeover has trapped Shell in austerity measures for the foreseeable future. The good news is that progress is likely to be visible, and that provides a useful story for the shares.

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Shell Smashes Estimates as BG Acquisition Drives Up Output

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By Rakteem Katakey: November 1, 2016

Royal Dutch Shell Plc reported third-quarter profit that beat analyst estimates after its acquisition of BG Group Plc boosted oil production, helping to counter a slump in prices. The shares rose.

Profit adjusted for one-time items and inventory changes advanced 17 percent from a year earlier to $2.79 billion, The Hague-based Shell said Tuesday. That exceeded the $1.79 billion average estimate of 14 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg, and the earnings of U.S. giant Exxon Mobil Corp.

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BP, Shell Help Lift Oil-Trading Profitability to 6-Year High

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By Javier Blas and Andy Hoffman: October 26, 2016

The trading arms of Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BP Plc enjoyed their best year ever in 2015, helping push the combined gross margins of oil merchants to a six-year high, according to a closely watched report.

Oil traders last year “stormed ahead, thanks to low, volatile spot prices that created cash-and-carry opportunities,” consultancy Oliver Wyman said in its annual review of the commodities-trading industry published Wednesday.

These gross margins — a rough measure of profitability — rose to a combined $19 billion, the highest since 2009, when oil traders benefited from big price swings and oversupplied markets. For commodities traders in general, total gross margins stagnated at $44 billion for the second consecutive year as natural gas, power and other markets underperformed oil.

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Royal Dutch conspired with the Nigerian government

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Esther Kiobel filed a briefin the Southern District of New York on October 12 seeking permission to issue subpoenas against Cravath, Swaine & Moore. The request was for the production of documents for a lawsuit expected to be filed in the Netherlands. The lawsuit is connected to a previous case in which Kiobel was a lead plaintiff, Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum. In this case, Kiobel alleged human rights and civil liberty violations against the oil and gas giant’s operations in Nigeria’s Ogoni region. The Dutch case, expected to be filed in late 2016, intends to allege that Royal Dutch conspired with the Nigerian government to commit human rights violations against the Ogoni people. Cravath represented Royal Dutch in the U.S lawsuits and this application intends to obtain the discovery from those cases.

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Shell Among New LNG Sellers for Asia Gas Hub Contender Singapore

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By Ann KohSerene Cheong and Dan Murtaugh: Oct 24, 2016

Singapore, which is vying to become a regional center for the trading of liquefied natural gas in Asia, picked Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Pavilion Gas Pte Ltd. as its next suppliers of the fuel.

The companies will have exclusive rights to sell 1 million metric tons of LNG annually for up to 3 years, with imports beginning in 2017, the city-state’s Energy Market Authority said in a statement. The country will also consider spot purchases of the supercooled fuel and piped natural gas on a case-by-case basis, S. Iswaran, the Minister of Industry, said at the Singapore International Energy Week conference on Monday.

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How electric cars could smash BP plc and Royal Dutch Shell plc

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By Harvey Jones – Tuesday, 18 October, 2016

Investors in UK-listed oil giants (LSE: BP) and Royal Dutch Shell (LSE: RDSB) have been paying close attention to the oil price because they know that unless it climbs higher, their juicy 7%-plus dividend yields will be in jeopardy. However, they need to look to more distant horizons, because even if the oil price does climb a little higher this year, the long-term outlook is mixed.

Golden years

I’ve always thought ‘black gold’ to be a rather daft a description for oil, given that gold has few practical uses but the global economy runs on crude. However, that may not always be the case, due to the rise of electric vehicles and renewable energy. A new report from the World Energy Council suggests these two trends could hit demand for oil sooner and harder than expected. Oil consumption could actually start falling within the next 10 to 15 years and if correct, this would play havoc with the investment case for BP and Shell.

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Oil From $50 Billion Kashagan Field Starts Flowing to Export

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By Nariman Gizitdinov: 14 October 2016

Kashagan, a vast oil field in the Caspian Sea, sent its first crude for export after about 16 years in development and more than $50 billion of investments.

The venture loaded 26,500 metric tons of crude for export into the country’s pipelines, Kazakhstan’s Energy Ministry said in an e-mailed statement. Of that, 7,700 tons was sent to the Caspian Pipeline Consortium. Reaching stable production will take “some time” as commissioning work continues both offshore and onshore, the ministry said.

The project has been plagued by multiple delays and cost overruns. A 2008 budget estimate of $38 billion jumped to $53 billion by the end of last year as the partners replaced undersea links after sour gas cracked the pipes. The crude from Kashagan is reaching an already saturated market, with prices at less than half the level of 2013 when the project hit a setback. Expectations for the field’s exports even prompted OPEC to flip supply predictions for next year.

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Shell Said to Consider Sale of $1 Billion Malaysia LNG Stake

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cropped-Screen-Shot-2016-09-09-at-20.58.10.jpgBy Elffie Chew and Joyce Koh: 14 October 2016

Royal Dutch Shell Plc is considering a sale of its stake in a Malaysian liquefied natural gas export plant, which could fetch more than $1 billion, people familiar with the matter said.

Shell is gauging interest in its 15 percent stake in MLNG Tiga Sdn., which owns an LNG terminal in Sarawak on the island of Borneo, according to the people. The sale may draw interest from private-equity firms, the people said, asking not to be identified as the process is private. Malaysia’s state-owned Petroliam Nasional Bhd., which holds 60 percent of MLNG Tiga, has pre-emptive rights on the stake, one of the people said.

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Shell May Snag 95% Discount on Next-Generation Ethanol Plant

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cropped-Screen-Shot-2016-09-09-at-20.58.10.jpgBy Mario Parker: 13 October 2016: Updated onOctober 14, 2016

Royal Dutch Shell Plc is set to pay $26 million for Abengoa SA’s ethanol plant that cost it and taxpayers about $500 million to build.

Shell’s so-called stalking-horse bid, which is subject to court approval, was disclosed in documents filed Wednesday with Kansas District’s U.S. Bankruptcy Court. If Abengoa receives competing bids, an auction will be held Nov. 21 for the 25 million-gallon-a-year-plant, the filings show. The bid was confirmed by Mark Kisler, managing director at Ocean Park Advisors, Abengoa’s consultant.

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Shell North Sea Sale Said to Draw Ineos, Siccar Point Bids

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cropped-Screen-Shot-2016-09-09-at-20.58.10.jpgBy Dinesh Nair: 12 October 2016

Royal Dutch Shell Plc has invited binding bids from parties including Ineos AG and Blackstone Group LP-backed Siccar Point Energy for the sale of some of its U.K. North Sea assets worth about $2 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.

North Sea-focused energy explorer Chrysaor Holdings Ltd. has teamed up with U.S. private equity firm EIG Global Energy Partners to submit a second-round bid before the Wednesday deadline, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. No final agreements have been reached, they said.

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Shell, BP Hold Lure of Higher Payouts After Brexit Hurts Pound

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screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-13-11-55By Rakteem Katakey: October 12, 2016

The British pound’s slump to a 30-year low is handing a windfall to U.K.-based shareholders of Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BP Plc.

The currency’s decline means the two oil companies are making higher payouts to U.K. investors when they distribute their dollar dividends in pounds. Shell and BP have pledged to prioritize defending their dividends through oil’s biggest downturn in a generation.

The companies have maintained their payouts for the past two years and shareholders who have stayed invested through crude’s slump are likely to get additional cash in the U.K. currency as the pound remains weak following Britain’s June 23 decision to exit the European Union. The potential for higher cash payouts is driving up the companies’ London-listed shares. U.S. investors get no benefit from the currency’s more than 17 percent slide against the dollar in the period, which makes the pound the worst performer among major currencies.

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Idemitsu and Showa Shell postpone merger amid founding family reservations, Iran-Saudi tensions

screen-shot-2016-10-13-at-10-14-31KYODO, STAFF REPORT: 13 October 2016:

Oil distributors Idemitsu Kosan Co. and Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K. have decided to postpone their planned April merger as Idemitsu has yet to gain consent for the deal from the founding family, sources close to the matter said Thursday.

Idemitsu, the nation’s second largest wholesaler, and Showa Shell, the fifth biggest, were expected to announce the decision later in the day, according to the sources.

Idemitsu and Showa Shell originally revealed a plan to merge in 2015. But the progress of the merger has become increasingly uncertain after Idemitsu founding members, who hold a 34 percent stake, enough to veto the merger, announced their opposition to the plan in June.

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Nigerian Militants Are Getting Ready to Strike Oil Again

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By Elisha Bala-Gbogbo: October 4, 2016

If the Nigerian government wants to fight militants blowing up oil pipelines, it should send troops into the creeks and mangrove swamps of the Niger River delta. Not the city.

That’s the suggestion of Babalola Olarewaju, a taxi driver who plies the airport route in Port Harcourt, the largest city in the restive oil-rich region.

“We’re talking about people who blow up pipelines in the night and then disappear,” said Olarewaju, 41, as he perched on the hood of his rickety cab outside the Le Meridien Hotel in the city center, referring to three T-72 tanks, Nigeria’s main battle tank, parked about a mile away. “What has a tank got to do here in the city?”

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Saudi Arabia Injects $5.3 Billion in Bank System Amid Crunch

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The plunge in oil prices over the past two years forced the government to draw down on its deposits in the banking system…

By Alaa Shahine and Stefania Bianchi: 25 Sept 2016

Saudi Arabia’s central bank stepped up efforts to support lenders in the Arab world’s biggest economy as they grapple with the effects of low oil prices.

The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, as the central bank is known, said it decided to give banks about 20 billion riyals ($5.3 billion) in the form of time deposits “on behalf of government entities.” It’s also introducing seven-day and 28-day repurchase agreements, as part of its “supportive monetary policy.”

The plunge in oil prices over the past two years forced the government to draw down on its deposits in the banking system, squeezing domestic liquidity. That’s pushed up the three-month Saudi Interbank Offered Rate, a key benchmark used for pricing loans, to the highest level since 2009. The central bank was said to have offered lenders 15 billion riyals in short-term loans in June to help ease liquidity constraints.

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Oil drops below $46

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By Ed Crooks: September 16, 2016

The more positive mood in crude prices last week always looked fragile, based as it was on nebulous talk about a possible Opec production freeze and volatile US data that were heavily influenced by storm Hermine at the beginning of the month.

That vulnerability was exposed this week. Brent crude, which briefly hit $50 per barrel on September 8, dropped below $46 on Friday.

As prices fell, analysts took differing views on the outlook. Bloomberg focused on the chance of a rebound, as markets started to focus on the growing risk of shortages. On the other hand, the FT’s Neil Hume pointed out that there was still more crude production capacity set to come on stream as a result of the investment binge of 2011-14 – not least the much delayed Kashagan field in Kazakhstan – meaning that prices could remain depressed in the short term.

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Argentina’s Energy Minister Sold Shell Shares After Pushback

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By Carolina MillanSeptember 13, 2016

Tax declarations show he owns $1 million worth of Shell shares

Aranguren was chief executive officer of Shell Argentina

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Argentina’s Energy and Mining Minister, Juan Jose Aranguren, has sold his shares of Royal Dutch Shell Plc following criticism from anti-graft authorities, President Mauricio Macri said.

Aranguren, formerly the chief executive officer of Shell Argentina, sold his shares in the company, Macri said in an interview with Bloomberg TV on Tuesday. Earlier, the minister was excused from all dealings with Shell in Argentina, according to a decree published in the official gazette. The minister, who owned $16 million pesos ($1 million) shares in the company according to reports of his tax documents for 2015, received a non-binding recommendation on Monday from the anti-graft office to sell his stock.

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This 89-Year-Old Scion’s Defiance Threatens a $1.7 Billion Merger

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By Stephen Stapczynski and Tsuyoshi Inajima: Sept 8, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 22.18.50In Japan’s carefully-choreographed, corporate world, public power struggles are generally frowned upon. Shosuke Idemitsu, 89, apparently doesn’t roll that way.

At an Idemitsu Kosan Co. shareholder meeting in June, investors were expected to vote in favor of reappointing directors who are supporting the government-backed, $1.7 billion merger with rival Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K. that’s scheduled to close by April of 2017.

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Reopening of Forcados Terminal — Bad News for Crude Prices

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Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 22.18.50By Staff Writer on Sep 1, 2016 at 12:30 pm EST

After militant attacks on its oil facilities in Nigeria, as well as numerous pipeline outages, Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s Forcados pipeline in the West African country is at last ready to start deliveries this month.

According to Bloomberg, Kola Karim, CEO of Shoreline Group, an energy company that uses the terminal, said operations were expected to resume in the middle of September. A spokesman for the company declined to comment on the matter.

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Slashing Dividends: The Only Option Left For Big Oil?

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By Nick Cunningham – Aug 31, 2016, 4:03 PM CDT

The oil majors will have an extraordinarily difficult time trying to maintain their hefty dividends in today’s oil market environment, and unless oil prices rebound substantially, companies may be forced to slash their payouts to shareholders.

The largest oil producers pay shareholders a combined $40 billion in dividends each year, a level that is not sustainable with oil prices at $50 per barrel, according to Chris Kettenmann of Macro Risk Advisors. “There’s massive risk to the dividend structure of these big oil companies over the next 12 months,” Kettenmann said on Bloomberg TV.

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Shell Becomes First Non-Bank to Join Mexico’s Oil Hedge

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Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 22.18.50By Javier Blas and Nacha Cattan: Sept 1, 2016 

Royal Dutch Shell Plc participated in protecting Mexico against low crude prices in 2017, according to four people with knowledge of the matter, the first time an oil company has taken part in the world’s largest commodities hedging program.

The Mexican government spent $1 billion buying put options — contracts that give it the right to sell at a predetermined price — to lock in an average price for its export basket of $38 a barrel for next year. Shell’s trading unit was one of the seven counterparties to the Mexican government, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.

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