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Auction of Oil Drilling Tracts in Gulf Draws Tepid Interest

HOUSTON — In a setback to Trump administration efforts to increase offshore oil production, the industry responded with only modest interest on Wednesday in a federal auction covering a record 77 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico.

Companies bid on only 1 percent of the acreage, and the winning bids yielded a mere $125 million for the government.

The results reflected broad uncertainty among oil executives that global oil prices can remain at current levels over $60 a barrel, as well as a general preference for drilling in onshore shale fields that require smaller investments and are less risky. read more and its sister websites, and are all owned by John Donovan

U.S. judge to question Big Oil on climate change

David Levine: 21 MARCH 2018

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Five of the world’s biggest energy producers will be questioned by a federal judge on Wednesday about climate change science, part of a lawsuit that accuses the companies of misleading the public for years about their role in global warming.

The cities of San Francisco and Oakland, California sued Chevron Corp (CVX.N), Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N), ConocoPhillips (COP.N), Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSa.L), and BP PLC (BP.L) last year, seeking an abatement fund to help the cities address flooding they say is a result of climate change. read more and its sister websites, and are all owned by John Donovan

Shell bets on petrol stations as electric revolution looms

Ron Bousso: MARCH 21, 2018

LONDON (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell is placing a big bet on petrol stations and convenience stores in China, India and Mexico as it looks to shore up profits during the electric car revolution.

By 2025, the oil and gas giant plans to grow its global network of roadside stations by nearly a quarter to 55,000, targeting 40 million daily customers, Shell said in a statement on Wednesday.

It will add another 5,000 convenience stores selling coffee and snacks, with growth focused on rapidly growing economies in emerging markets.  read more and its sister websites, and are all owned by John Donovan

Chevron Says Climate Change Lawsuit `Not Viable’ As It Prepares To Educate Judge On Science

Daniel Fisher: Writer and communications consultant and former senior editor with Forbes magazine; 21 March 2018

Five of the world’s largest oil and gas producers have filed a motion to dismiss a climate change lawsuit against them by the cities of Oakland and San Francisco even as they prepare to deliver an unusual “tutorial” on climate science to the federal judge overseeing the case.

In a 45-page filing on Tuesday, Chevron, BP, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell urged U.S. District Judge William Alsup to dismiss the lawsuit seeking billions of dollars to pay for costs associated with global warming. The oil companies argue the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit have repeatedly rejected similar lawsuits against oil companies, the auto industry and electric utilities because Congress has given authority to regulate CO2 emissions exclusively to the Environmental Protection Agency. read more and its sister websites, and are all owned by John Donovan

Despite Alberta’s warnings, oil majors Shell and BP are falling in love with carbon capture technology all over again

Geoffrey Morgan: March 13, 2018

HOUSTON — Major oil companies Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BP Plc are taking another hard look at carbon capture storage much to the alarm of Alberta which sank more than a billion dollars in the technology but was heavily criticized for pursuing an expensive method to rein in carbon emissions.

“I’m fairly surprised,” Alberta Energy Minister Marg McCuaig-Boyd said of the widespread enthusiastic touting of CCS investments at CERA Week, an important Houston energy conference organized by IHS Markit at the beginning of March. read more and its sister websites, and are all owned by John Donovan

BP, Shell React to Superbrands Recognition

by  Andreas Exarheas | Rigzone Staff Tuesday, March 13, 2018

BP plc and Royal Dutch Shell plc have reacted to the results of the latest UK Superbrands rankings, which saw both companies crowned as one of the top 20 UK business and consumer Superbrands of 2018.

“We are proud to be included in the Superbrands list,” BP Director of Brand, Duncan Blake, told Rigzone.

“Our industry is changing rapidly and ensuring that consumers understand how BP is participating in the transition to a lower-carbon future is something we will continue to work for,” he added. read more and its sister websites, and are all owned by John Donovan

Coal is out and oil is fading, making natural gas the fossil fuel of choice

Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden speaks at the CERAWeek conference at the Hilton Americas, Wednesday, March 7, 2018, in Houston. (Photo: Karen Warren / Houston Chronicle)

Coal is too dirty. Oil is too messy. And renewables are too intermittent. But natural gas is just right.

Energy companies of every stripe have fallen in love with the stepchild of fossil fuels. No longer considered an annoying byproduct of oil drilling, natural gas’ multiple applications and relative cleanliness guarantee it a place in the future energy mix.

The CEO of French energy giant Total, Patrick Pouyanné, joked that he runs a gas and oil company, rather than oil and gas, during his appearance at CERAWeek by IHS Markit, the annual energy conference in Houston. Every major international energy company in the world is emphasizing gas over oil. read more and its sister websites, and are all owned by John Donovan

BP, Shell execs report surprise production boost from mature wells

|About: BP p.l.c. (BP)|By: , SA News Editor

  • BP CEO Bob Dudley has spent 38 years in the oil business, and he says has never seen anything like what happened with the company’s mature oil fields last year – their production increased.
  • Results across the industry were not as spectacular as BP’s but still impressive, executives and officials at the CERAWeek conference said this week; the International Energy Agency reported production from mature fields fell 5.7% last year, the smallest decline in at least a decade.
  • The findings are a surprise because the oil industry cut spending dramatically during the three-year downturn, but the need to stretch each dollar spent is exactly why major oil firms are getting more from those fields, says Wael Sawan, executive VP for deepwater at Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B), which also reported improved results at its legacy wells.
  • “Companies are focusing on the basics, so there was a massive re-focus on existing wells,” Sawan tells Bloomberg. “It’s the cheapest and most profitable barrel that companies can access.”
  • read more and its sister websites, and 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 and its sister websites, and are all owned by John Donovan

    At energy summit, climate pits U.S. against Europe

    FILE PHOTO: Ben van Beurden, chief executive officer of Royal Dutch Shell, speaks during the 26th World Gas Conference in Paris, France, June 2, 2015. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo

    Ron Bousso: 7 MARCH 2018

    HOUSTON (Reuters) – The U.S. energy secretary blasted renewable fuels champions on Wednesday while the head of Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSa.L) urged the energy sector to focus on global efforts to cut carbon emissions, reflecting a yawning trans-Atlantic gap on climate issues.

    Speaking at the CERAWeek conference in Houston, Shell CEO Ben van Beurden outlined an ambitious plan to reduce the Anglo-Dutch company’s carbon footprint and expand in renewables, and called on others to follow. read more and its sister websites, and are all owned by John Donovan

    Houston outlook bright with U.S. shale set to dominate global growth for years

    Forecasters at Royal Dutch Shell, the Anglo-Dutch oil major, have predicted that global oil demand could peak within a decade as electric cars and other clean energy technologies gain larger market shares.

    March 5, 2018 Updated: March 5, 2018 8:42pm

    Houston’s energy industry, which drives the local economy, has much brighter days ahead as global oil demand climbs, shale production booms and U.S. crude grabs larger shares of global markets, according to forecasts, industry officials and analysts.

    The United States is already pumping oil at record levels above 10 million barrels a day, surpassing Saudi Arabia, and may take over from Russia as the world’s production leader by the end of 2018. Over the next five years, daily U.S. production is expected to climb 3.5 million barrels, or 35 percent, to more than 13 million barrels, according to a forecast by the International Energy Agency, which monitors the global oil industry. read more and its sister websites, and 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 and its sister websites, and are all owned by John Donovan

    Why The Next Oil Boom Will Be Fueled By Blockchain

    By Meredith Taylor – Feb 21, 2018, 6:00 PM CST

    Big Oil is due for a disruption.

    The world’s most important industry has been carrying on without any significant changes in its day to day routine for far too long.

    But now, the new tech on the block has its sights set on the multi-trillion-dollar oil and gas sector.

    It’s official: Blockchain technology has infiltrated Big Oil.

    The hype behind blockchain has reached a full-blown frenzy. And for good reason.

    The technology, which creates secure ledgers for digital transactions and rapidly accelerates the pace at which transactions can be made, has the potential to disrupt every major industry: real estate, shipping, banking and healthcare. read more and its sister websites, and are all owned by John Donovan

    New York City Inspires Paris to Take on Big Oil Companies


    A little more than a month after Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that New York City will take the fossil fuel industry to court, Paris says it is following suit.

    In early January, de Blasio announced that the city filed a lawsuit against five of the United States’ biggest oil companies—BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell—on the grounds that they have contributed to global warming. The city will also divest from fossil fuel companies over a five-year period.

    On Feb. 6,—which has been working on a divestment campaign for the last four years—announced that Paris was looking into the possibility of suing the fossil fuel industry as well.

    The City Council passed a motion to study the possibility of taking legal action against oil companies to cover expenses associated with protecting Paris from the impacts of climate change.

    The Council plans to lobby other major cities like London to ban fossil fuels from their investments through the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, whose president is Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo. read more and its sister websites, and are all owned by John Donovan

    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 and its sister websites, and are all owned by John Donovan

    Hail shale, but deepwater oil fights back

    Ron Bousso: 14 FEB 2018

    LONDON (Reuters) – Penguins, Royal Dutch Shell’s (RDSa.L) latest oil and gas development in a remote corner of the British North Sea, epitomizes the new doctrine for deepwater projects — keep it cheap and simple.

    Shunned during the oil price crash of 2014-2016, deepwater projects are being embraced again, a challenge to the surge in onshore U.S. shale output.

    Penguins, the first new major deepwater project this year, will rejuvenate the 44-year-old field by drilling 8 new wells 165 meters (541 feet) underwater and connecting them to a new production vessel. read more and its sister websites, and are all owned by John Donovan

    Big Oil takes stage for post-austerity beauty contest

    Ron Bousso: 12 FEB 2018

    LONDON (Reuters) – With years of austerity in their rear-view mirrors, the world’s biggest oil companies are locked in a beauty contest to lure investors with promises of growth and greater rewards.

    Royal Dutch Shell and Total are emerging as frontrunners after a three-year slump thanks to strong growth projections but Exxon Mobil, the biggest publicly traded oil company, has largely disappointed with a weaker outlook.

    Major oil companies slashed spending and cut costs after oil prices collapsed in 2014 and can now generate as much cash with crude at $50-$55 a barrel as they did when the price was around $100 earlier in the decade. read more and its sister websites, and are all owned by John Donovan

    Ads will attack de Blasio’s lawsuits against oil companies

    De Blasio announced last month that the city had filed a lawsuit against BP, Chevron, Conoco-Phillips, ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell, claiming their fossil fuels produce 11 percent of the Earth’s global-warming gases.

    The suit “seeks to shift the costs of protecting the city from climate-change impacts back onto the companies that have done nearly all they could to create this existential threat.”

    City Hall spokesman Eric Phillips slammed the new campaign. read more and its sister websites, and are all owned by John Donovan

    Don’t believe in climate change? Energy companies do

    The leaders of the world’s largest and most powerful energy companies are talking about the fight to mitigate human-caused climate change.

    Some are even putting their money where their mouths are.

    While some conservative political leaders still deny that the Earth is heating up due to humans burning fossil fuels and releasing greenhouse gases, the people who produce those fuels and chemicals have recognized the imperative to limit global warming to a rise of 2 degrees Celsius. read more and its sister websites, and are all owned by John Donovan

    Oil giant’s moves fuel recovery hopes in North Sea

    Oil giant’s moves fuel recovery hopes in North Sea


    FOLLOWING encouraging announcements from several firms, Royal Dutch Shell may have provided the clearest signal yet that brighter times are in prospect in the North Sea following three grim years.

    After the company announced bumper profits, chief executive Ben van Beurden seemed keen to flag the significance of Shell’s decision last month to redevelop the giant Penguins field off Shetland.

    He noted the move followed a period in which Shell focused on selling off North Sea assets and cutting costs in response to the sharp fall in oil prices since 2014. read more and its sister websites, and are all owned by John Donovan

    BP announces North Sea discoveries with Shell, Chevron

    Photo: JONATHAN NACKSTRAND, Stringer: Shell is a shareholder in the Elgin rig, shown here operating 150 miles from Aberdeen in the North Sea in 2012. Shell is selling stakes in 10 North Sea fields.

    BP said it struck oil in its Capercaillie prospect in the central North Sea east of Scotland, as well as the northwestern corner of the North Sea in the Achmelvich well, the latter of which is the partnership with Shell and Chevron.

    The discoveries lend optimism to a slowly rebounding offshore energy sector, especially in the North Sea that’s so critical for Europe’s oil supplies. read more and its sister websites, and are all owned by John Donovan

    Shell made mistake by pulling out of Guyana basin


    Now that Guyana’s oil and gas basin has been deemed as one of the hottest and most exciting prospects in the world, Shell Oil has to be regretting its decision to withdraw as an investment partner with United States giant ExxonMobil, which has so far drilled six successful wells offshore Guyana worth about 3.2 billion barrels of oil, officials said Monday, Jan. 29.

    Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman said Exxon’s mid 2015 “world class” oil and gas find has clearly taken away all the fears and apprehensions about wasting investor dollars exploring offshore Guyana and Shell is one company which has missed out on the chance to cash in on one of the world’s largest oil finds in more than a decade. Exxon plans to begin producing about 120,000 barrels of oil daily in early 2020. This will make Guyana the largest producer in the Caribbean Community. The others are Trinidad, Suriname and Barbados. read more and its sister websites, and are all owned by John Donovan

    Shell shielded from Forties fallout by ‘internationalisation’, North Sea sales

    Written by

    Shell is performing “extremely well” at a time when Brent crude is at its highest price for three years, the oil giant’s upcoming fourth quarter results will show.

    The Anglo-Dutch major is in its strongest position for many years in terms of its cash generation thanks to its upstream and LNG businesses, analysts said.

    RBC Capital Markets anticipates Shell’s fourth-quarter adjusted net income will more than double year-on-year. The company recorded adjusted earnings of £1.3billion in Q4 2016.

    Analysts said Shell, whose shares are up about 10% over the last 12 months, had been boosted by the sale of assets and disciplined spending.

    The company implemented a £21billion-plus divestment plan following its £47billion mega-merger with BG Group, which was completed in 2016.

    As part of that programme, Shell sold about £3billion worth of North Sea assets to Chrysaor in 2017.

    RBC analysts said the company would have cashed in £1.1billion in the fourth quarter from the proceeds of UK North Sea sales alone. read more and its sister websites, and are all owned by John Donovan

    Shell buying spree cranks up race for clean energy


    People take pictures of a high-efficiency petrol-burning concept car as it is unveiled by Royal Dutch Shell during a ceremony in Beijing, China April 22, 2016. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

    Ron Bousso, Clara Denina: JANUARY 26, 2018

    LONDON (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) has spent over $400 million on a range of acquisitions in recent weeks, from solar power to electric car charging points, cranking up its drive to expand beyond its oil and gas business and reduce its carbon footprint.

    The scale of the buying spree pales in comparison to the Anglo-Dutch company’s $25 billion annual spending budget. But its first forays into the solar and retail power sectors for many years shows a growing urgency to develop cleaner energy businesses. read more and its sister websites, and are all owned by John Donovan

    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 and its sister websites, and are all owned by John Donovan

    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 and its sister websites, and are all owned by John Donovan

    Big Oil flush with cash again, but no party yet

    Ron Bousso: 24 JAN 2018

    LONDON (Reuters) – The world’s top oil companies are expected to generate more cash in 2018 than at any other time this decade after three painful years of cuts, but it isn’t party time yet.

    The shift in sentiment has been rapid as crude prices have risen by more than 50 percent over the past six months to reach $70 a barrel, a level not seen since the crash year of 2014, thanks to global supply cuts led by OPEC.

    Only a year ago, many investors still fretted over the sustainability of the sector’s lavish dividend payouts in a weak energy market. Now the focus on company boards is gradually switching from slashing jobs and investment to boosting shareholders’ returns and growth. read more and its sister websites, and 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 and its sister websites, and are all owned by John Donovan

    Shell’s Trading Arm Bags Stake In London-Based Blockchain Start-Up


    Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell’s trading arm Shell Trading International made a significant move into blockchain development on Thursday (18 January) by bagging a minority stake in London, U.K.-based start-up Applied Blockchain.

    In the simplest of terms, a blockchain is akin to a digitally distributed ledger that can be replicated and spread across many nodes in a peer-to-peer network, thereby minimising the need for oversight and governance of a single ledger. read more and its sister websites, and are all owned by John Donovan



    New York City and a number of California municipalities, including San Francisco and Oakland, have filed lawsuits against five major oil companies—BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil, and Royal Dutch Shell—for contributing to the increased risk of global warming.

    These complaints cite recent scientific reports that project that sea levels will rise from 0.2 meters to 2.0 meters (or 0.66 to 6.6 feet) by 2100, with a major loss of land surface area and serious climate disruptions. read more and its sister websites, and are all owned by John Donovan

    Shell and BP to Buy Libyan Oil as Country Recovers

    Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BP Plc agreed annual deals to buy Libyan crude, underscoring how the North African country’s recovering production and improving security are enticing some of the world’s largest oil companies.

    Shell’s deal with Libya’s National Oil Corp. was the first of its kind since 2013 and Europe’s biggest oil company will load its first cargo under the contract within days, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because they’re not authorized to talk to the media. BP, which didn’t have a term deal in 2017, also reached an agreement for this year, the people said. read more and its sister websites, and are all owned by John Donovan

    Royal Dutch Shell one of the companies with biggest pensions deficit

    After Carillion how many firms can the pensions lifeboat rescue? 

    The Pension Protection Fund can absorb the firm’s liabilities but the spotlight is now on others with big pension deficits

    The companies with the biggest deficits, according to a report last year from pension consultants LCP, are Royal Dutch Shell, BP, BT and BAE Systems. The four FTSE 100 companies each had a deficit of more than £6bn in 2016.

    The pensions lifeboat that comes to the rescue when firms go bust is about to get a lot more crowded following the collapse of Carillion.

    The sprawling construction and outsourcing firm had a pension deficit of £580m but is now likely to rise to at least £800m because it no longer has a solvent business standing alongside it. The company’s crash into liquidation has thrown the spotlight on other firms with huge pension scheme deficits such as IAG, BTand BAE.

    It has also raised questions about how many more big company failures the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) can absorb, and why companies with big deficits are allowed to pump out bumper dividend payouts to shareholders. read more and its sister websites, and are all owned by John Donovan

    New York City sues Shell, ExxonMobil, and other oil majors over climate change

    Each of the first six months of 2016 set a record as the warmest respective month globally. Credit: NASA/GISS
    January 10 2018

    The New York City government is suing the world’s five largest publicly traded oil companies, seeking to hold them responsible for present and future damages to the city from climate change.

    The suit, filed Tuesday against BP, Chevron, Conoco-Phillips, ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell, claims the companies together produced 11 percent of all of global warming gases through the oil and gas products they have sold over the years. It also charges that the companies and the industry of which they are part have known for some time about the consequences but sought to obscure them. read more and its sister websites, and are all owned by John Donovan

    New York City sues 5 major oil companies, claiming they contributed to global warming

    The ExxonMobil refinery seen at dusk in St. Bernard Parish, La.

    (Gerald Herbert / AP)

    Associated Press

    New York City is suing five major oil companies, claiming they have contributed to global warming.

    Mayor Bill de Blasio says the city will be seeking billions in the lawsuit to recoup money spent by the city for resiliency efforts related to climate change.

    The defendants in the city’s federal lawsuit are BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell.

    A BP spokesman declined comment. A Shell spokesman said climate change is a complex issue that should not be addressed by the courts. The other three did not immediately comment. read more and its sister websites, and are all owned by John Donovan

    Big Oil Finds Hurdles Buried in Trump’s ‘America-First’ Tax Plan

    For Big Oil, the U.S. tax overhaul is turning out to be a mixed bag, especially for companies that drill overseas.

    Two weeks after President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans passed a sweeping rewrite of the tax code that cuts corporate rates, drillers are finding other changes that are less of a boon. BP Plc and Royal Dutch Shell Plc offered a preview recently, saying they may write off as much as $4 billion in tax assets as a result.

    Caps on debt-interest payments and cuts to deductions from previous years’ losses may hurt companies building capital-intensive projects with borrowed money. And other provisions, including time limits on expensing exploration, could hem in drillers with long-term projects, including Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. That may also give an edge to domestic shale production. read more and its sister websites, and are all owned by John Donovan

    U.S. offers drillers nearly all offshore waters, but focus is on eastern Gulf

    Ernest Sheyder and Valerie Volcovici

    HOUSTON/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump’s administration has proposed opening up nearly all of America’s offshore waters to oil and gas drilling, but the industry says it is mainly interested in one part of it, now cordoned off by the Pentagon: the eastern Gulf of Mexico.

    The industry’s focus on an area located near a sprawling network of existing platforms, pipes and ports could ease the path to new reserves, and assuage the drilling opponents near other places offered under the Interior Department’s proposed drilling plan issued last week, like California’s Pacific, the Atlantic and Arctic. read more and its sister websites, and are all owned by John Donovan

    Zenith Energy Acquires Hamburg Terminaling Assets from Shell

    HOUSTON, Jan. 8, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Zenith Energy, L.P. (“Zenith”), an international liquids and bulk terminaling company, today announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire a liquids storage terminal facility in Hamburg, Germany from Royal Dutch Shell plc (“Shell”).  The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2018.  Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

    The terminal assets are located in the Port of Hamburg, Germany’s largest seaport and the third largest container port in Europe.  The facility, located on 55 hectares, serves as a refined product import and blending terminal in North Germany with an expected storage capacity of over 480 thousand cubic meters / 3.0 million barrels for gasoline, diesel and jet fuel; inbound and outbound ocean vessel, barge, rail and truck; and pipeline connectivity in the Port of Hamburg.  After transferring ownership to Zenith, Shell will remain a significant customer of the terminal. read more and its sister websites, and are all owned by John Donovan

    BP takes $1.5 billion charge over U.S tax changes, joining Shell

    RON BOUSSO: JANUARY 2, 2018 / 7:34 AM LONDON (Reuters) – BP (BP.L) will take a one-off $1.5 billion charge in its 2017 fourth quarter earnings as a result of new U.S. corporate income tax rules, joining rival Royal Dutch Shell.

    The British oil and gas company said on Tuesday the cut in U.S. corporate income tax from 35 percent to 21 percent was expected to positively impact its U.S. earnings in the long run.

    But in the short term, lower tax rates would affect its deferred tax assets and liabilities, resulting in a one-off, non-cash charge of $1.5 billion to its fourth quarter results which are due to be announced on Feb. 8, it said.

    “The ultimate impact of the change in the U.S. corporate income tax rate is subject to a number of complex provisions in the legislation which BP is reviewing,” BP said in a statement. read more and its sister websites, and are all owned by John Donovan

    Ineos sees Forties oil flows back to normal around new year

    Reporting by Dmitry Zhdannikov and Julia Payne; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle and Mark Potter: December 28, 2017

    LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s biggest and most important oil and gas pipeline Forties should resume normal flows around the new year, slightly earlier than previously flagged, its operator Ineos said on Thursday.

    Ineos had previously expected the pipeline, which suffered a rare unplanned shutdown because of a crack, to resume normal operations in early January.

    The closure since Dec. 11 of the pipeline, which normally pumps about 450,000 barrels per day, and supply disruptions in Libya have helped push oil prices above $67 a barrel, their highest since mid-2015. [O/R] read more and its sister websites, and are all owned by John Donovan

    Insidious Gas Leaks Are Casting Doubts Over Shell’s Clean Credentials

    Methane seepage may make natural gas more polluting than coal

    Gas focus, expansion of shale reinforce need for reliable data

    After spending $50 billion on the world’s biggest bet on natural gas, Royal Dutch Shell Plc is at the forefront of Big Oil’s efforts to clean up its act. But what if the constant, insidious leaks of gas into the atmosphere actually make the fuel more polluting than coal? 

    Methane, the main component in natural gas, can seep into the air at various points between extraction and delivery. Trapping more heat than carbon dioxide, it’s a potent contributor to global warming. Yet credible data on the volumes released is scarce, and that’s spurring pressure from investors.

    “This is such an important issue,” said Tim Goodman, a director at asset manager Hermes EOS who has urged oil companies to address climate matters in their quarterly updates. “The less methane is lost to the environment, the less dirty methane and natural gas is, and the longer gas might be a viable fuel.” read more and its sister websites, and are all owned by John Donovan

    Production Halted At 2 North Sea Platforms After Main Pipeline Shutdown

    Fun Trading: 18 Dec 2017


    • Shell announced that production from the Shearwater and Nelson platforms in the central North Sea had been suspended due to Forties pipeline shutdown.
    • Forties pipeline is a vital artery of the North Sea production. Production loss is estimated at about 400K Boep/d which is significant and may boost oil prices for weeks.
    • This situation could be considered as a net positive for Shell and other oil majors.

    Investment Thesis:

    Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) (RDS.B), BP P.l.c (BP), and Exxon Mobil (XOM) are the most reliable long-term oil companies and should be part of your main oil portfolio. However, this special status comes with the shareholders’ obligation to follow tightly what is going on with the company on the day-to-day news which may eventually change the future outlook — in this case with a potential production cut. This is exactly what I intend to discuss today. read more and its sister websites, and are all owned by John Donovan

    Oil stable on tighter market, but rising US output looms for 2018


    * OPEC-led supply cuts, Forties pipeline outage support crude

    * But rising U.S. output, driven by shale, weighs on market

    SINGAPORE, Dec 15 (Reuters) – Oil markets were stable on Friday as the Forties pipeline outage in the North Sea and the ongoing OPEC-led production cuts supported prices, while rising output from the United States kept crude from rising further.

    U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $57.13 a barrel at 0119 GMT, up 9 cents from their last settlement. read more and its sister websites, and are all owned by John Donovan

    Goldman Says Big Oil Is Poised for Its Best Year in Decades

    Big Oil’s slump is over and industry domination beckons, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

    In 2018, companies from Royal Dutch Shell Plc to Exxon Mobil Corp. will find themselves with a surplus of cash to fund dividends, ruling the world of deep water mega-projects and even coming out ahead in tax negotiations with oil-reliant governments around the globe, according to Michele Della Vigna, Goldman’s head of energy-industry research.

    The industry’s success in cutting costs, paired with a low oil price that keeps smaller competitors out of the biggest projects, has created an environment where only major players can compete, Vigna said. That should bolster earnings and return the industry giants to a position of dominance not seen in 20 years. read more and its sister websites, and are all owned by John Donovan

    Norway parties inclined to back fund’s plan to slash oil exposure -report


    OSLO, Dec 12 (Reuters) – Norway’s $1 trillion sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, will probably win backing from parliament for its proposal to cut most oil and gas stocks from its portfolio, business daily Dagens Naeringsliv reported on Tuesday.

    If adopted by parliament, the fund would over time divest billions of dollars from oil and gas stocks, which now represent 6 percent – or around $37 billion – of its benchmark equity index. read more and its sister websites, and are all owned by John Donovan

    Corbyn backs call for MPs’ pension fund to divest fossil fuels

    John McDonnell and Jeremy Corbyn support Divest Parliament, a group trying to force the parliamentary pension fund to drop fossil fuel investments © AFP

    , Chief Political Correspondent

    The Labour leader and shadow chancellor have swung their support behind Divest Parliament, a group trying to force the Parliamentary Contributory Pension Fund to drop investments in fossil fuels, including a £5.6m stake in BP and £5m of shares in Royal Dutch Shell. FULL FT ARTICLE read more and its sister websites, and are all owned by John Donovan

    Integrated Gas To Drive Royal Dutch Shell’s Value Going Forward

    Great Speculations: Trefis Team: DEC 7, 2017 @ 04:22 PM

    With the growing inclination towards the use of cleaner and environment-friendly sources of energy, natural gas has emerged as a preferred choice of fuel worldwide. However, due to the challenges related to the transportation and storage of gas, the demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG) has grown faster than the demand for natural gas over the last decade. As a result, natural gas producers, particularly in the U.S., have been expanding their LNG operations to capitalize on the booming demand for the commodity. Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS.A) is one such integrated energy company that has been increasing its presence in the gas markets. In this note, we discuss how Shell’s integrated gas business will drive value for the company over in the long term. read more and its sister websites, and are all owned by John Donovan

    U.S. oil majors fall behind on climate, European lead

    Major European oil companies are making major efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to fight climate change. American majors are dragging their behinds.

    Royal Dutch Shell pledged Tuesday to slash carbon emission by 50 percent and boost investment in clean, renewable energy. CEO Ben van Beurden promised to spend at least $2 billion on on wind power, biofuels and electric cars, about the same amount it will spend on shale oil.

    “It is making sure that the products within society have an overall lower carbon footprint,” Beurden told investors, according to the Guardian newspaper. “That is the long-term way of making sure our business remains a relevant business in the face of the energy transition.” read more and its sister websites, and are all owned by John Donovan

    Shell Midstream buying pipelines, terminals for $825m

    Houston’s Shell Midstream Partners is going on a buying spree, acquiring $825 million worth of pipelines and terminals from its Royal Dutch Shell parent.

    Written by

    The deals designed to beef up the three-year-old Shell Midstream business give the Houston pipelines firm more ownership in Gulf Coast and Gulf of Mexico pipelines, as well as a slew of terminals from the Houston area to Washington state.

    The drop-down acquisitions from the parent Shell and other Shell subsidiaries give Shell Midstream majority ownership of the Mars and Odyssey oil pipelines in the Gulf of Mexico. Shell Midstream already owned 49 percent stakes in the pipelines and the deal ups those stakes to at least 71 percent. read more and its sister websites, and are all owned by John Donovan

    Royal Dutch Shell’s Deepwater Strength

    Dividend Stream: Nov. 30, 2017


    • Royal Dutch Shell held its annual analyst day earlier this week.
    • Management expects to generate at least $25 billion in excess cash flow by 2019.
    • Despite rising share prices, Shell can still be picked up here.
    • This idea was discussed in more depth with members of my private investing community, Streaming Income.

    The recovery in oil and gas is in full swing. While benchmark crude oil prices have gone up across the board, Brent is now $63 per barrel, the catalyst for this recovery comes more in the fact that oil producers have done such a good job in bringing costs down.

    Nowhere is that more starkly noticeable than in offshore, deepwater drilling, where dayrates for state-of-the-art rigs have gone from as high as $700,000 three years ago to just $250,000 or so. As onshore rig counts creep higher, cost inflation is once again becoming a fact of life in select onshore shale plays. With deepwater drilling, however, there are still many rigs ‘stacked’ in harbors across the world just waiting to come out and get activated, thereby keeping development and operational costs down. read more and its sister websites, and are all owned by John Donovan

    Shell signals return to pure cash dividend, focus on renewables

    FILE PHOTO: Ben van Beurden, chief executive officer of Royal Dutch Shell, speaks during a news conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, February 15, 2016. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes /File Photo

    Ron Bousso: NOVEMBER 18, 2017

    LONDON (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) will return to paying pure cash dividends and step up its investment in cleaner energy as it turns a corner after more than two years of cost cuts and disposals prompted by weak oil prices.

    Shell Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden sought to strike a balance between reassuring investors it can increase returns in its core fossil fuel business during an “era of volatility” in oil prices while preparing to step up investments in renewables. read more and its sister websites, and are all owned by John Donovan
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