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The Pipeline Trump Says Risks Making Germany ‘a Captive of Russia’

By Elena Mazneva and Laurence Arnold: 11 July 2018

A planned natural-gas pipeline, Nord Stream 2, is the latest point of friction between U.S. President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. At a summit meeting of North Atlantic Treaty Organization members, Trump said the pipeline risks making Germany “a captive of Russia.” He’s not the first American leader to criticize the pipeline project, and the U.S. isn’t alone in its disapproval.

1. What is Nord Stream 2?

It’s a planned new 1,230 kilometer (764-mile) undersea pipeline that will carry natural gas from fields in Russia to the EU network at Germany’s Baltic coast. It will double the capacity of an existing undersea route and cut Russia’s reliance on gas transit through Ukraine. (Russia has been locked in conflict with Ukraine since 2014, when a pro-Russian president there was forced from power and Russia seized the country’s Crimean Peninsula.) Russia’s Gazprom PJSC is overseeing the project with funding from five investors including Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Engie SA, which are providing half of the 9.5 billion-euro ($10.3 billion) in cost. read more

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Shell ramps up in Kitimat, raising Canada’s $30B LNG hopes

NATALIE OBIKO PEARSON, BLOOMBERG: July 9, 2018

A flurry of activity is raising optimism that Royal Dutch Shell Plc and its partners are ready to go ahead with the nation’s largest infrastructure project: a $40 billion liquefied natural gas terminal that could at last unlock energy exports to Asia.

The action is unmistakable in Kitimat, the Pacific coast city hugging a deep inlet that would be the closest launch point on the continent for LNG cargoes to Asia. The lights are on, shades open and SUVs parked outside a 49-unit apartment complex built to house Shell executives, which sat mostly darkened for the last two years. Local workers have left jobs at a Rio Tinto Plc smelter nearby to join contractors ramping up for the LNG project. Landlords are raising rents and houses are selling twice as fast as they used to in anticipation of a flood of workers coming to town. read more

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$US150 a barrel? Shareholder greed could make oil prices double

By Ben Sharples: Bloomberg News: 7 July 2018

Oil investors may regret urging companies to cough up cash now instead of investing in growth for later as the dearth of exploration is setting the stage for an unprecedented crude price spike, according to Sanford C. Bernstein.

Companies have been compelled to focus on boosting returns and shareholder distributions at the expense of capital expenditures aimed at finding new supplies, analysts including Neil Beveridge wrote in a note on Friday. read more

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Big Oil, Utilities are Lining Up for an Electric Vehicle War

Big Oil, Utilities are Lining Up for an Electric Vehicle War

By Kelly Gilblom and Anna Hirtenstein2 July 2018, 05:00 BST

  • BP and Shell have bought electric-car charging companies
  • Power utilities are boosting sales to homes, chargers on roads

A red-hot electric vehicle market has triggered a face-off between Big Oil and utilities.

Oil majors, who’ve sold fossil fuels to cars for a century, are now moving into an electricity sector that’s preparing for exponential growth. The problem is that utilities, the primary power suppliers for a century, have the same idea.

BP Plc predicts electric vehicle sales will surge by an eye-watering 8,800 percent between 2017 and 2040, making it an attractive business for oil companies as demand for gasoline and diesel are forecast to slow. Big Oil will have to battle the traditional utilities for charging at people’s homes, on the road and even offices of green-car owners. read more

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Opposition Lawmaker Demands Probe into Netherlands-Shell Tax Deal

By Linda A. Thompson: June 27, 2018

A Dutch opposition lawmaker is pushing the government to launch a parliamentary inquiry into Shell, calls that follow criticism of the oil giant’s past deals with the tax authority.

Jesse Klaver, the leader of the Dutch Greens, is specifically focused on a 2004 tax ruling the tax authority issued to Royal Dutch Shell Plc. A parliamentary inquiry would be lawmakers’ only shot to question Shell executives about the deal, and would be the latest development in scrutiny of the company’s tax planning. read more

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Future of Big Oil Increasingly Shaped by the Fate of Global Gas

By Kevin Crowley and Kelly Gilblom
25 June 2018, 00:00 BST

Big Oil’s fortunes are becoming tied more closely to natural gas than ever before.

Majors including Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BP Plc have boosted their proportion of gas output in recent years, helping them trim Exxon Mobil Corp.’s lead as the world’s most valuable oil company. Meanwhile Chevron Corp. added two giant Australian liquefied natural gas projects and Exxon is punching back with two major projects of its own, in Papua New Guinea and Mozambique. read more

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Debate Over Netherlands’ Tax Treatment of Shell Heats Up

June 20, 2018

By Linda A. Thompson

Practitioners are divided over whether an agreement between Shell and the Dutch tax administration breaks EU government aid rules.

The debate has heated up in recent days after an article released June 18 by a Dutch academic claimed Royal Dutch Shell Plc avoided a tax on dividends by routing shares through a trust in the Channel Island of Jersey.

Shell didn’t immediately return a request for comment.

The company received permission to use the structure in 2005 during a merger of its British and Dutch parent companies, but the agreement may have violated Dutch withholding tax rules, according to the article, written by Jan van de Streek, a professor at the University of Amsterdam. read more

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Shell May Be Rediscovering Its Swagger in Texas Shale Oil Country

By Kelly Gilblom: 18 June 2018, 05:00 BST

Shale oil hasn’t always been Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s best friend, but they’re working on the relationship.

Shell is said to have bid, with partner Blackstone Group LP, on a portfolio of U.S. shale assets BHP Billiton Ltd. wants to sell for about $10 billion. If it wins, the Anglo-Dutch oil major could exceed its goal of doubling its American onshore output, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co.

That would boost the unit’s free cash flow — currently on track to grow by $2 billion by 2025 — and turn around a shale portfolio that is currently “mid-lower ranked,” analysts from the bank including Christyan Malek said in a report. read more

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Shell says Nigeria attacks continue despite oil output recovery

Nigeria’s oil wells may be flowing again, but the country’s largest operator says attacks continue to put a brake on output.

Written by

“Security in parts of the Niger delta remains a major concern with persisting incidents of criminality, kidnapping and vandalism as well as onshore and offshore piracy,” said Igo Weli, general manager for external relations at Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s local unit. The warning underlines the enduring threat of attacks even as production recovers from a major militant campaign in 2016.

Shell declared force majeure on Bonny Light crude shipments last month following pipeline leaks, while loadings of Forcados exports were also delayed. Weli didn’t specifically link those incidents to his comments on vandalism. read more

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As Trump Riles Europe on Trade, Putin Offers More Natural Gas

…the EU may protect the companies financing Nord Stream 2. Those include Royal Dutch Shell Plc…

By William Wilkes and Ewa Krukowska
4 June 2018, 05:00 BST

As Donald Trump’s trade policy risk worsening economic conflict with Europe Union, Russia’s Vladimir Putin is strengthening ties with the region.

Putin will mark 50 years of gas exports to Europe at an event in Vienna on Tuesday. A controversial 9.5 billion-euro ($11 billion) pipeline to feed more supplies from Siberia directly into Germany is progressing despite a U.S. sanctions threat. And Moscow-based Gazprom PJSC last month settled a seven-year-old pricing dispute with the European Union, enabling it to expand its market share. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

Shell Tries to Market Some of Its Natural Gas as Clean Energy

By Mathew Carr, 1 June 2018

Royal Dutch Shell Plc is attempting to market some of its natural gas as clean energy, packaging it with credits for eco-friendly projects that offset pollution coming from the fuel.

The oil giant is offering business customers in Europe a combination of gas and certificates that show emissions are offset with financing for carbon-reduction projects. It’s testing markets in Germany, Italy, Spain and Britain to gauge demand for what credits to use, according to David Wells, head of Shell Energy Europe. read more

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Petronas Takes 25% Stake in Shell-Led Canadian LNG Project

By Elffie Chew and Natalie Obiko Pearson: 31 May2018

(Bloomberg) — Malaysia’s Petroliam Nasional Bhd. agreed to take a 25 percent equity stake in a proposed liquefied natural gas project in Canada led by Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

The Canadian unit of Shell will hold a 40 percent stake, while subsidiaries of PetroChina Co. and Mitsubishi Corp. will have a 15 percent share each, according to a statement from Thursday from Petronas. A unit of Korea Gas Corp. will hold 5 percent. The announcement confirmed an earlier Bloomberg News report that a deal was imminent. read more

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The Mystery of a Geneva Briefcase, Nigeria Middleman and Big Oil

By Hugo Miller , Kelly Gilblom , and Sergio Di Pasquale: 24 May 2018, 08:40 BST Updated on 24 May 2018, 10:23 BST

A briefcase seized from a Geneva apartment two years ago could be the key to an Italian bribery case against Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Eni SpA — if it makes it to Milan in time.

The bag held SIM cards, Nigerian passports, a laptop and a hard drive containing more than 40,000 documents, and belonged to Emeka Obi, according to a spokesman for the Geneva Prosecutor’s Office. Swiss prosecutors found it during a raid for an unrelated investigation and are trying to get it to their Italian colleagues, who are prosecuting Obi as an alleged middle man in a $1.1 billion kickback scheme involving the energy companies vying for a Nigerian oil license.

Obi’s lawyers persuaded a Geneva judge to put the contents of his briefcase under seal, citing his rights to privacy. Now a decision by Geneva’s Measures of Constraint Court on whether to lift that seal is expected as soon as this month.

While officials in Milan have moved forward with charges against the oil companies without the briefcase, the evidence could strengthen the graft case. The trial, which centers around events in 2011, begins on June 20. Milanese Prosecutor Fabio De Pasquale said he has “sent more reminders” to the Swiss saying he wants the briefcase, underscoring its importance. read more

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Climate Change Warriors’ Latest Weapon of Choice Is Litigation

By Jeremy Hodges, Lauren Leatherby and Kartikay Mehrotra
May 24, 2018

In the global fight against climate change, one tool is proving increasingly popular: litigation.

From California to the Philippines, activists, governments and concerned citizens are suing the biggest polluters and national governments over the effects of climate change at a break-neck pace.

“The courts are our last, best hope at this moment of irreversible harm to our planet and life on it,” said Julia Olson, an attorney for Our Children’s Trust, a legal challenge center in the U.S. that is involved in climate change litigation across 13 countries, including the U.S., Pakistan and Uganda. read more

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Shell Sees Off Controversial Votes on Climate Change, CEO Pay

Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

Kelly Gilblom: 22 May 2018, 14:48 BST

Royal Dutch Shell Plc has seen off the two most debated issues at its shareholder meeting — the boss’s pay and responsibility in tackling climate change. But not without a degree of drama.

The company won the backing of about 94 percent of shareholders to not set specific emission-reduction targets, with Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden saying it is taking “leadership” on the issue. However, while almost 75 percent of investors also approved the remuneration report, it faced stiffer resistance after an influential advisory firm asked them to reject the package. read more

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Shell Faces Shareholder Outcry Over Incident That Killed 200

BY Kelly Gilblom: 14 May 2018, 12:02 BST

Royal Dutch Shell Plc will face difficult questions at its annual general meeting next week after an investor-advisory group urged shareholders to challenge executive pay and the company’s response to a fatal accident in Pakistan. 

Institutional Shareholder Services Inc., an influential adviser on corporate governance, has recommended investors reject Shell’s pay report at its AGM on May 22, saying it was initially “silent” on the Pakistan incident. ISS also said it could only offer “qualified support” to the re-election of the independent director looking after corporate social responsibility.  read more

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Shell’s Investing in a Battery Startup Targeting Grocery Stores

By Mark Chediak: 9 May 2018, 05:00 BST

Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s corporate venture arm and GXP Investments led a $7.6 million investment in energy storage startup Axiom Energy to expand its service to grocery stores and cold-storage facilities. 
 
The round also included WorldQuant Ventures LLC, SV Tech Ventures and Meson Capital Partners LLC, according to a statement from the Richmond, California-based startup. 
 
Axiom’s refrigeration battery freezes tanks of salt water at night when electricity costs are low and then provides cooling services during the day when power prices are high. The company says it can reduce peak energy demand by as much as 40 percent. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

Shell to Sell Canadian Natural Resources Stake for $3.3 Billion

Shell seeking to sell $30 billion in assets to cut debt

A unit of Royal Dutch Shell Plc has agreed to sell its entire stake in oil sands producer Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. for about $3 billion, which will be used to reduce debt.

Shell Gas BV will sell its 97.6 million shares in Canadian Natural for total pretax proceeds of $3.3 billion, and the transaction is expected to be completed by Wednesday, according to a statement from Hague-based Shell. The shares are being offered at $34.10 each, according to a person familiar with the matter, a 2.9 percent discount to its close Monday in New York. read more

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Oil Companies Ask Judge to Kill NYC’s Global Warming Lawsuit

By Bob Van Voris: 4 May 2018, 23:09 BST Updated on 5 May 2018, 02:09 BST

Case affects global economy, national security, companies say

New York argues oil companies denied climate change science

This lawsuit is based upon the fundamental principle that a corporation that makes a product causing severe harm when used exactly as intended should shoulder the costs of abating that harm. Defendants here produced, marketed, and sold massive quantities of fossil fuels—primarily oil and natural gas—despite knowing that the combustion and use of fossil fuels emit greenhouse gases (“GHG pollution” or “GHGs”), primarily carbon dioxide (“CO2”). Defendants have also known for decades that GHG pollution accumulates and remains in the atmosphere for up to hundreds of years, where it traps heat, a process commonly referred to as “climate change” or “global warming,” and that this process would cause grave harm.

Five of the world’s biggest oil companies asked a judge to throw out New York City’s lawsuit seeking to hold them responsible for costs related to the environmental changes caused by their products. 

BP Plc, Chevron Corp., ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil Corp., and Royal Dutch Shell Plc argued that the court lacks the authority to resolve broad policy questions with “profound implications for the global economy, international relations and America’s national security.” read more

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As Oil Hits $75, Shell Wants Deepwater Costs at $40 or Below

The Big Oil playbook has been straightforward for decades: Higher prices mean offshore projects that are further, deeper, more complex than ever before. It’s different this time, according to Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

Deepwater projects need to break even at $40 a barrel, or preferably lower, said Harry Brekelmans, Shell’s project and technology director, in an interview Monday, That’s almost half the cost of some projects commissioned before the 2014 oil-price crash, he said. On Monday, Brent crude, the global benchmark, rose to more than $75 a barrel in London.  read more

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Holding Onto Major Clients Is Now Tougher for WPP

Martin Sorrell’s departure as chief executive officer of WPP Plc comes at a sensitive time for the world’s largest advertising company as it faces an intense period of fighting to keep major clients.

Here are some key accounts that WPP will want to defend from rivals such as Publicis Groupe SA and Omnicom Group Inc. after his departure:

4. Shell

Europe’s largest energy company Royal Dutch Shell Plc is reviewing its global creative and media account, held by WPP’s J. Walter Thompson and MediaCom for decades, according to The Drum. The account is worth more than $200 million, according to AdAge. read more

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Big Oil Bids to Burnish Credentials in War on Climate Change

The world’s biggest oil companies, for long typecast as villains of climate change, are seeking to reinvent themselves as environmental pioneers.

“We’re not going to be sitting back and say let’s see what society does and we’ll follow that,” said Ben van Beurden, chief executive officer of Royal Dutch Shell Plc. “We’re more than prepared to be assertive and lean forward and say: ‘This is what it takes.”’

Irked by a shareholder resolution that would force Europe’s largest oil company to create specific emissions targets, the CEO took the unusual step of engaging with five reporters on Monday about Shell’s vision for a decarbonized world. Not only is Shell implementing its own, much stronger, measures to manage the energy transition, according to Van Beurden, but it can also drag the rest of the world along with it. read more

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Shell’s CEO Tells Activists and Investors: Trust Me to Cut CO2

Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden has the same message for activists seeking to bind Royal Dutch Shell Plc to deep emissions cuts, and investors concerned about the merits of shifting away from oil and gas: Trust me.

He advised shareholders on Monday to reject a resolution from climate group Follow This that would set clear targets for the company’s greenhouse-gas emissions, more specific than its current broad “ambition.” He also reiterated his intention for Shell to make most of its money from clean energy in 20 years, such as renewables, hydrogen or carbon capture in 20 years.  read more

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Shell’s Oil Isn’t Stranded Today, But Tomorrow Matters More

Current oil reserves are only part of the equation for assessing future risks.

By Liam Denning: 12 April 2018, 18:36 BST   Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg  

The 92220 Evening Star was the last steam locomotive built by British Rail, back in 1960. It was retired only five years later, as diesel and electrification consigned the age of steam to history.

Building an engine and using it for only five years is a great way to waste investment. Which is why there’s a raging debate today about stranded assets in the fossil-fuels business. Given the planet’s diminishing capacity to absorb greenhouse gases without potentially catastrophic environmental effects, there is an implied cap on how much more oil, gas and coal can be used (absent some major breakthrough in carbon-capture technology). And, as happened with the Evening Star, rival ways to power transportation threaten to overturn the internal combustion engine’s dominance. So producers increasingly face questions about whether some of their oil and gas reserves will ever actually be produced — with obvious implications for their stocks. read more

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Shell envisions long road to low carbon future

By Daniel J. Graeber  |  April 12, 2018

April 12 (UPI) — A transition to a cleaner economy is underway as evidenced by a rate of decline in global oil demand, but it’s a long journey, Royal Dutch Shell said Thursday.

The Dutch supermajor has committed to reducing its carbon footprint in half by 2050 and said it would invest about $2 billion per year on alternative energy solutions until the end of the decade. CEO Ben van Beurden said that Shell would play its part in meeting global energy demand with cleaner options. read more

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Shell’s Climate Push Fails to Cut Emissions

Royal Dutch Shell Plc is demonstrating how tough it is for a massive, 100-year-old oil company to become a friend to the climate.

Shell’s greenhouse-gas emissions rose last year to the highest since 2014, it said Monday. The increase shows the challenge facing Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden as his company grows to meet burgeoning energy demand while investors demand a clear path toward a low-carbon future. 

“As living standards rise, energy demand could double over the course of the century,” Van Beurden said in Shell’s sustainability report. “The world is going to have to make meeting this demand part of the approach to cutting emissions.”  read more

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Shell Suspects Ex-Executive Committed Crime in Nigeria Deal

A bank account linked to Robinson was frozen by the Attorney-General in Switzerland after requests for legal assistance from the Dutch and Italian authorities, people familiar with the matter said last week. Several hundred million Swiss francs were in the account…

  • Oil giant filed a criminal complaint to Dutch authorities
  • Peter Robinson already facing corruption charges in Italy

Royal Dutch Shell Plc referred a former vice president for sub-Saharan Africa Peter Robinson to the Dutch authorities, suspecting he may have committed crimes related to an asset sale in Nigeria.

The allegations of criminal misconduct by one of its employees come at a difficult time for Shell. Europe’s largest energy company and several former executives, including Robinson, are already facing a criminal trial in Milan over an alleged bribery scheme related to the separate purchase of a Nigerian oil block called OPL 245.  read more

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Oil’s Seven Sisters Enter a ‘Golden Age’, Goldman Sachs Says

The world’s largest oil companies have survived a life-changing crisis, and are now poised to reap the rewards, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said.

Big Oil is in a sweet spot with rising oil prices and low operating costs, leaving them with the biggest cash-flow growth in two decades and boosting earnings, Goldman said in a report Monday. That will increase their attraction for investors after years of elevated spending followed by crude’s slump sent their weighting in global equity indexes to a 50-year low, according to the bank.  read more

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Shell Says Saving Planet Probably Means Sucking CO2 From the Air

Cutting emissions won’t be enough to keep the planet from warming by more than 2 degrees Celsius: to achieve that goal, according to Royal Dutch Shell Plc, will require sucking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.

A scenario report from the Anglo-Dutch oil major describes a world woefully unprepared to meet the goals set out in the Paris Climate Agreement. Shell says that by 2060, carbon capture and storage must exceed global emissions as the company sets a course for pre-industrial pollution levels. For decades after, such facilities would need to work at breakneck pace to inhale the carbon dioxide spewed by previous generations.  read more

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Shell Mulls 15-Year Deal for Israeli, Cypriot Gas, Partner Says

Yaacov Benmeleh: 21 March 2018: Updated 22 March 2018

(Bloomberg) — Royal Dutch Shell Plc is weighing a 15-year contract to buy natural gas for its liquefied natural gas plant in Egypt from offshore fields in Cyprus and Israel.

Shell is in talks to purchase 6 billion cubic meters of natural gas a year from the Aphrodite field, located in Cypriot waters, according to Delek Drilling LP’s annual report Wednesday. A potential deal also could include gas from the neighboring Leviathan reservoir, Israel’s largest pool, which is expected to start production by the end of 2019. read more

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Giant Oil Trader With No Women in Top Jobs Says Change Must Come

U.K. figures on gender pay gaps show that female employees at Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s trading unit earn 62 percent less in bonuses than male colleagues.

Commodity houses must do more to get women into top jobs, according to Vitol Group, the biggest independent oil trader, and a firm that like others in the industry staffs its leadership committee entirely with men.

“We accept that it’s not good enough,” Chairman Ian Taylor said in an interview in Lausanne, Switzerland. “It’s an industry problem.”

There are no women on the executive leadership committees of Vitol, Glencore Plc or Trafigura Group Ltd., the three biggest independent oil traders and two biggest metals traders. Bloomberg News reported this week that of the top 40 commodity trading houses, only 4.2 percent of such jobs are held by women. read more

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Lithium Seen as Lifeline for Oil Majors in Clean Energy Future

Lithium could be a lifeline for oil majors as the energy industry shifts toward lower-polluting alternatives to fossil fuels, said Jeff McDermott of Greentech Capital Advisors LLC.

“Their specialty is resource extraction,” McDermott, managing partner of the New York-based boutique investment bank advising energy companies and investors, said in an interview in London. “They should buy lithium miners, get involved in the upstream of core battery technology.”

This suggestion marks out one solution to the existential question some of the world’s biggest energy companies are facing about how to survive as governments clamp down on the fuels they produce. As the curbs on carbon emissions tighten, a key issue for fossil fuel producers are how much oil and gas demand is at risk. read more

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Selection of Shell related news stories 16 March 2018

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Shell Risks Losing Gas Race as Rival Targets Shared Resource

After a decade planning the world’s largest floating gas export plant, Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s supplies could get tapped by a competitor first.

Shell and Japan’s Inpex Corp. are both targeting gas from a connected reservoir in Australia’s remote Browse Basin, about 200 kilometers (125 miles) off its northwest coast, according to consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd.Meeting its planned start up date this month would give Inpex’s Ichthys LNG project an edge over Shell’s Prelude LNG.

“The difference between Prelude starting six months before versus six months after Ichthys could be a few percent of their reservoir stake,” Wood Mackenzie analyst Saul Kavonic said in an email. “That is a material amount.” read more

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Nigeria State Oil Company Hasn’t Explained Missing Billions

An agency tasked with cleaning up Nigeria’s murky oil industry says even though financial accountability has improved the state oil company still hasn’t explained billions of dollars of missing revenue.

While energy producers have cooperated and complied with requirements to publish payments, the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative has struggled with the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corp., Waziri Adio, executive secretary of the agency known as Neiti, said in a March 7 interview in Abuja, the capital. The state oil company hasn’t explained what it did with at least $22.7 billion earned from the sale of oil licenses and in dividends from its stake in Nigeria LNG Ltd. over a 15-year period, he said. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

Shell Says Oil’s Not Going Anywhere

There’ll be at least one home still welcoming fossil fuels in the face of a growing threat from cleaner resources, according to Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

Heavy industry relies on hydrocarbons to generate extremely high temperatures and chemical reactions, according to Mark Quartermain, vice president of crude oil trading and supply at the company. Many processes used in iron, steel, cement and plastics factories can’t be electrified at all, and even if they could be, cannot be done at a viable cost in the foreseeable future, he said at a conference in Singapore. read more

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Selection of recent news coverage of Shell/Eni OPL 245 corruption scandal

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

Russian LNG Gas Reportedly Heads to UK Amid Record Cold Snap

President Putin: Photo Credit: Kremlin.ru

When cold weather strikes, Europe seems to come to an understanding that Russian energy deliveries to the continent carry a purely economic significance, not a political one.

Deliveries of Russian liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Yamal in Siberia are set to arrive in the UK this week as the island nation struggles to dig out from Storm Emma, the Financial Times reported.

The LNG will be delivered to the UK by Royal Dutch Shell, two sources familiar with the shipment have said. The gas will be picked up this weekend, and delivered to an LNG terminal in Milford Haven, Wales, where it will be regasified and pumped into the UK network by March 6. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

Big Oil Buyers Ditch Paper for Blockchain to Track Tanker Sales

A consortium — including oil producers BP Plc, Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Statoil ASA — has been developing a blockchain-based platform for physical oil trades.

Every day, dozens of oil tankers — some as long as five football fields — set sail for ports around the world carrying millions of barrels of crude and a piece of paper that generations of sea captains have held as dear as their cargo.

The bill of lading is the document that verifies ownership of a commodity that can be worth more than $122 million per ship. Without it, buyers and sellers who trade $2.7 billion of crude daily are unable to do business in an ocean-going tanker market that supplies almost half of the oil consumed globally. read more

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Shell Shows Interest in BHP Assets

Royal Dutch Shell Plc said it’s potentially interested in BHP Billiton Ltd.’s oil assets on sale in the Permian basin in the U.S. as it seeks to boost its role in shale.

The Anglo-Dutch company entered the prolific oil region in 2012 and plans to expand its position and generate positive cash flow next year, Andy Brown, Shell’s upstream director, said in an interview on Tuesday. The Permian offers production costs as low as $15 a barrel and is the driving force behind the current surge in U.S. output. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

Big Oil CEOs Urge Norway to Throw a Lifeline to Carbon Capture

Saetre, Pouyanne & van Beurden in Oslo, Feb. 15 2018.: Photographer: Kyrre Lien/Bloomberg

Three of the world’s biggest oil companies called on Norway to help maintain funding for carbon capture and storage technology that is stagnating amid concerns about whether it can ever be cost-effective.

The chief executive officers of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Total SA and Norway’s state-controlled Statoil ASA gathered on the sidelines of an energy conference in Oslo to make the case for a flagship Norwegian project, in which the companies plan to store CO2 emissions under the North Sea after they’ve been shipped and piped from onshore industrial plants. read more

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Shell’s Pivot to Renewables Sharpens With California Deal

(Bloomberg) — Royal Dutch Shell Plc, the world’s second-biggest oil company, is expanding its bet on renewable energy.

Shell’s North American unit agreed to provide a credit line for trading and a revolving loan facility to Inspire Energy Holdings LLC, according to a statement Wednesday. The Santa Monica, California-based clean-power, smart-home and energy-management company will use the funds to expand its reach. Terms weren’t disclosed.

While Shell and its major rivals still have the bulk of their investments in oil and natural gas, they are taking steps to diversify. Shell agreed in January to buy a 44 percent stake in Nashville-based Silicon Ranch Corp., which owns and operates about 100 U.S. solar plants. A month earlier, the Anglo-Dutch company bought First Utility Ltd., the U.K.’s seventh-largest power provider. And that followed deals last year for electric-car charging networks in Europe. read more

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Shell Commits to Expanding Gas Stations as Some Rivals Retreat

Istvan Kapitany, head of Shell’s global retail business

By Kevin Orland: 9 February 2018

(Bloomberg) — While many oil producers are stepping back from their retail operations, Royal Dutch Shell Plc is doubling down.

Shell, which has about 44,000 filling stations around the world, opened its first one in Mexico last year, the start of $1 billion in investments over the next decade. Shell also is ramping up spending in China, India, Indonesia and Russia, Istvan Kapitany, head of Shell’s global retail business, said in an interview in Calgary. read more

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Canadian shale boom triggers quakes in Alberta town as frackers rush to drill new wells

Communities like Fox Creek, Alberta, are feeling the economic benefits of the shale boom, along with fracking-linked earthquakes. 

Drilling has been so intense near Fox Creek, Alberta that it’s been linked to a series of earthquakes.Brennan Linsley/AP Photo

Bloomberg News: Robert Tuttle: February 9, 2018: 12:59 PM EST

In the Western Alberta town of Fox Creek, roughnecks shuffle through hotel lobbies, freight trucks choke slushy streets and, every once in a while, tremors shake the earth.

Welcome to Canada’s biggest shale boom. Chevron Corp., Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Encana Corp., Murphy Oil Corp. and XTO Energy Inc. are among those flocking to Fox Creek to stake their claim in the oil-rich Duvernay shale formation. 

Here, the prize is condensate, an ultra-light oil that’s perfect for diluting the heavy tar-sands crude for which Alberta is known. More locally produced diluent would be a plus for Canadian companies that now depend on the U.S. — and for communities like Fox Creek that are feeling the economic benefits along with fracking-linked earthquakes. More of both may be in the offing as drillers flock in Chevron’s wake into the Duvernay region. read more

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Shell Makes as Much Money at $60 a Barrel as When It Was $100

The oil-price rally worked both ways for Royal Dutch Shell Plc as improved exploration and production lifted profit to a three-year high while refining and trading fell short of expectations as margins shrank.

Crude’s surge raised adjusted profit at Europe’s largest energy company to $4.3 billion last quarter, the highest since 2014. While the bottom line was better than expected — and Shell is making as much money with oil at $60 a barrel as when it was $100 — cash flow was the weakest since 2016. read more

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Shell Makes Mexico Comeback to Rule Deep Gulf Waters

In the span of a few hours, Royal Dutch Shell Plc became the new king of Mexico’s deep waters.

The super major — which once dominated the country’s oil industry and operates the deepest prospects in the U.S. side of the Gulf — made a comeback by winning about a third of the offerings in Mexico’s biggest-yet bidding round.

The auction of exploration and production permits on Wednesday was the strongest sign so far that Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto’s energy reform is bearing fruit by luring investment plans that will help get Mexico’s oil production back on track. read more

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Shell Is Closing In on Exxon’s Crown

Even in the dynamic world of business, some things always hold true: the Big Mac outsells the Whopper, Google gets more searches than Bing, and Exxon Mobil Corp. is the world’s biggest public oil company. Or perhaps not.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc is the closest it’s ever been to attaining the long-coveted prize of overtaking its American rival. While the Anglo-Dutch oil major still has some work left to snatch Exxon’s crown, Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden has made getting to the top his restless mission.

“At the moment we are number two and we are closing in on number one,” he said this month. “We almost have the tiger by the tail.”

That van Beurden thinks his goal is even in sight shows the risk he took in doing the industry’s biggest deal in decades is starting to pay off. Meanwhile, the strategy charted by Exxon’s former CEO Rex Tillerson has left the American major slightly adrift, according to investors.

“Ben doesn’t just talk the talk, he walks the walk now,” Richard Hulf, co-manager in Artemis Global Energy Fund, part of a London investment management group that owns both Exxon and Shell shares. “Shell’s got a bit better and Exxon is at a weak point in its cycle.”

The narrowing gap is likely to show through when both companies post earnings next week. Analysts estimate Shell will report $16 billion of profit in 2017 helped by the acquisition of BG Group Plc. Exxon is forecast to report $15.7 billion of earnings, dropping behind its European rival for the first time in at least two decades. Shell is also likely to have churned out more cash from operations than Exxon last year.

It’s the $53 billion BG deal that’s really made a difference. When oil’s crash started in the middle of 2014, just months into Van Beurden’s tenure as Shell’s boss, he saw an opportunity. BG’s oil projects in Brazil and gas in Australia were just starting up, easing uncertainty on future growth. Rumored for years to be a suitor, van Beurden finally made the move for the British company.

The deal immediately put Shell in an exclusive club with Exxon, placing it on a plane above its European rivals Total SA and BP Plc. Some use the phrase ultra-major to differentiate the industry’s big two from the pack – at least until Saudi Aramco’s giant IPO, slated for the end of this year.

It wasn’t all plain sailing. As oil prices continued to slide in 2014, many analysts thought the price tag was excessive, forcing Shell to borrow too much. Van Beurden was staking his reputation on the deal and he pressed on, seeking to create what he often calls a “world-class investment case.” The company was forced to cut costs, sell assets and rein in spending to keep borrowing under control.

Still, in the two years since the BG deal closed, Shell’s B shares in London, the most widely traded, have returned more than five times Exxon’s, reversing the performance of the previous two years and providing superior returns for shareholders.

“Strategically BG was the right deal,” said Iain Pyle, the investment director for U.K. equities at the investment unit of Standard Life Aberdeen Plc, among the largest Shell shareholders. “The only question about it at the time was the price they paid and the stress they put on the balance sheet to do the deal.”

In the start of 2015, before Shell announced the BG deal, Exxon’s market value was about $180 billion more than Shell’s and it had just reported an annual profit $10 billion higher.

Since then, Exxon has struggled to keep the business growing. Exxon’s production in the third quarter was 1.8 percent lower than a year ago while Shell’s rose 1.7 percent. The American company’s oil and gas reserves have also dropped (though this may change this year as it books reserves from a  giant discovery  off the coast of Guyana in South America.) The gap in the two companies’ market value has more than halved to about $73 billion.

Shell’s record takeover fueled speculation Exxon would snap up a big rival to maintain its world-leader status, but it’s recent deal history hasn’t been a resounding success.

The $35-billion purchase of American shale gas company XTO in 2010 came shortly before gas prices plummeted. It also struck a deal with Rosneft PJSC to explore and develop giant offshore fields in Russia in 2011, right before they became locked behind a wall of U.S. sanctions. These left its “upstream portfolio disadvantaged,” Credit Suisse said. read more

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Oil Companies to Reopen Their Checkbooks as Brent Surpasses $70

After more than three years of belt-tightening, a resurgence in crude prices has fueled oil-company optimism, and a readiness to reopen the checkbook.

More than two-thirds of 813 senior oil executives expect increased capital spending in 2018, double last year’s percentage, according to a survey by Norwegian consultants DNV GL. About a third say research and development budgets will rise, and the same number predict hiring will expand.

Underlying those projections is a recovery in Brent crude to $70 a barrel, a level not seen since 2014 and more than double the price two years ago. That’s emboldened major producers to roll back some of the self-help measures they introduced during the downturn. Royal Dutch Shell Plc stopped offering dividends in stock last quarter, while BP Plc has started share buybacks. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

Big Oil Plans Tenfold Expansion of Cost-Cut Collaboration

The world’s largest energy companies plan to significantly widen a two-year effort to standardize the kit they use to pump oil and gas, hoping they can deliver significant cost savings, said people familiar with the matter.

The discussions, scheduled on Wednesday for a closed-door meeting at the World Economic Forum in Davos, are the latest sign companies are seeking to tighten their belts permanently even as oil prices recover. Bespoke equipment designed on a project-by-project basis was common during the decade-long boom in crude prices, but looks less affordable after the industry’s worst downturn in a generation. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

Nigeria Moves Closer to Energy Overhaul With New Oil Bill

Nigeria’s House of Representatives passed a bill governing the country’s energy sector after the Senate did so in May, taking Africa’s top oil producer one step closer to a much-awaited overhaul of the key industry.

The Petroleum Industry Governance Bill now awaits President Muhammadu Buhari’s signing to become law.

The bill will “promote openness and transparency in the industry by clarifying the rules, processes, and procedures that govern the oil and gas sector,” Senate President Bukola Saraki said in a statement Thursday. “After nearly two decades of back-and-forth, near-misses and ‘near-passages’, the 8th National Assembly finally reached a milestone.” read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan
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