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Iraq may offer Total, Chevron terms different from Shell for Majnoon field development

OCTOBER 21, 2017

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraq may offer Chevron (CVX.N) and Total (TOTF.PA) terms to develop the Majnoon oilfield different from those it had given to Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L), Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar al-Luaibi said on Saturday.

Iraq will develop the Majnoon oil field in southern Iraqi by its own means until it can find a foreign partner, Luaibi told reporters, adding that no company has been selected yet.

Luaibi said on Oct. 9 that Chevron and Total are among the companies that have expressed interest in developing Majnoon that Shell has said it wants to leave because of unfavourable changes to fiscal terms. read more

Gas producers pumping up demand

  • The Wall Street Journal

After spending hundreds of billions of dollars to transform themselves into global natural gas giants, some of the world’s biggest energy companies face a new challenge: generating more demand as supplies threaten to balloon and prices languish.

Companies including Royal Dutch Shell, Total and Cheniere Energy are trying to establish new markets for liquefied natural gas, a super-chilled version of the fuel that can be shipped around the world. Producers are promoting the use of LNG for industrial trucking and shipping. Companies also say they are considering building the power plants and infrastructure necessary to provide gas and electricity in developing markets such as South Africa and Vietnam. read more

Slowing Demand Growth to Push Big Oil From Cars to Chemicals

Global oil demand growth will slow to a crawl and gasoline use will peak within the next decade, prompting the world’s biggest energy companies to accelerate the shift to natural gas and chemicals, according to consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd.

Major crude producers will have to adapt to significant changes in the coming years, but their businesses can grow. Oil consumption will keep expanding until at least 2035 as the petrochemical industry, which provides the building blocks to manufacture everything from plastics to pesticides, makes up for the contraction in some transport fuels, Wood Mackenzie said in a report on Monday. read more

Shell has seen the future – and it’s several shades of green

Ben Van Beurden, chief executive officer of Royal Dutch Shell, sees a future dominated by gas and renewables, with gas the clear winner. Photo: Bloomberg

By Ben Marlow: 

If there is one subject that divides energy producers it’s the question of when oil demand will peak.

Indeed, it is such a controversial topic that some senior figures like Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister, Khalid al-Falih, prefer not to discuss it at all.

He claims talk of peak demand is dangerous. It threatens to reduce vital investment, “compromising” energy security, al-Falih said earlier this year.

John Watson, boss of American oil giant Chevron, recently dismissed the idea of peak demand as “wishful thinking”. read more

Chevron starts LNG output at Australia’s Wheatstone, first cargo expected in weeks

OCTOBER 9, 2017

* Wheatstone had been due to start shipping in mid-2017

* First cargo expected in “coming weeks”

* Wheatstone LNG will produce 8.9 million tpy at full capacity (Adds trader, Woodside comments, chart, factbox in related content section)

By Sonali Paul

MELBOURNE, Oct 9 (Reuters) – Chevron Corp said on Monday it has started producing liquefied natural gas (LNG) at its Wheatstone project in Australia, slightly later than expected, and plans to ship its first cargo soon. read more

Oil Majors Face Lawsuits on Climate Change Issues

October 06, 2017, 04:44:00 PM EDT By Zacks Equity Research

Two major Californian cities – San Francisco and Oakland – have filed lawsuits against five oil and energy super majors in late September. The cities have taken legal action against Chevron Corp., ConocoPhillips, Royal Dutch Shell plc, ExxonMobil Corp. and BP p.l.c.

The companies have been accused of causing an adverse impact on the climate, resulting in global warming. The plaintiffs hold these fossil fuel companies accountable for rising sea levels, changing landscapes, higher global temperatures and increased risk of storms and droughts. read more

Citizens must “flood the courts” in fight for climate justice: economist

Deep-pocketed oil companies – from Exxon Mobil to Chevron and Royal Dutch Shell – should bear the bulk of the legal blame and responsibility, but legal tools could also be used to seek remedy from governments.. In September, cities including San Francisco and Oakland filed separate lawsuits against five oil companies using the “public nuisance” doctrine, seeking billions of dollars to protect against rising sea levels.

Adela Suliman: OCTOBER 4, 2017

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – The world faces a ticking time bomb in the form of global warming, and recent disasters caused by extreme weather should motivate individuals to urgently seek “climate justice”, said leading U.S. economist Jeffrey Sachs.

The U.N. special adviser urged citizens to “flood the courts” with legal cases demanding the right to a safe and clean environment, and to pursue major polluters such as big oil companies and negligent governments for liability and damages. read more

California cities sue big oil firms over climate change

Gary McWilliams: SEPTEMBER 21, 2017 / 2:34 AM

(Reuters) – California cities San Francisco and Oakland filed separate lawsuits against five oil companies on Wednesday seeking billions of dollars to protect against rising sea levels they blamed on climate change, according to public documents.

The lawsuits, filed in state courts in San Francisco and Alameda Counties, alleged Chevron Corp, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil Corp, BP Plc, and Royal Dutch Shell Plc, created a public nuisance and asked for funds to finance infrastructure to deal with rising sea levels. read more

San Francisco sues Big Oil for billions over climate change claiming they knew the dangers for decades

‘Instead of owning up to it, they copied a page from the Big Tobacco playbook,’ says San Francisco’s city attorney

The Golden Gate Bridge across San Francisco Bay

The US cities of San Francisco and Oakland are suing five of the world’s largest oil companies for the coasts of walls and other defences against rising sea levels, saying the industry made vast profits from fossil fuels while knowing they were causing “an existential threat to humankind”.

Drawing a direct comparison to the tobacco industry’s sale of cigarettes despite knowledge of the health risks, the city attorneys announced they had filed separate lawsuits against BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil, Chevron and ConocoPhillips. read more

SF, Oakland sue top five oil and gas companies over climate change

San Francisco and Oakland on Wednesday announced lawsuits against five major oil and gas companies. (Courtesy photo)

The lawsuits against Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil, BP and Royal Dutch Shell claim the companies have known for decades that global warming and sea level rise were accelerated by the investor-owned producers of fossil fuels, but the companies still continued to “aggressively produce, market and sell vast quantities of fossil fuels for a global market”

By on September 20, 2017 10:59 am

The cities of San Francisco and Oakland have filed separate lawsuits against five major oil and gas companies for allegedly contributing to the costs of climate change and sea level rise by producing massive amounts of fossil fuels, city leaders announced Wednesday.

The lawsuits against Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil, BP and Royal Dutch Shell claim the companies have known for decades that global warming and sea level rise were accelerated by the investor-owned producers of fossil fuels, but the companies still continued to “aggressively produce, market and sell vast quantities of fossil fuels for a global market,” according to a news release from the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office. read more

Big Oil Becomes Greener With Cuts to Greenhouse Gas Pollution

It’s no secret that oil majors are among the biggest corporate emitters of pollution. What may be surprising is that they’re reducing their greenhouse-gas footprints every year, actively participating in a trend that’s swept up most corporate behemoths.

Sixty-two of the world’s 100 largest companies consistently cut their emissions on an annual basis between 2010 and 2015, with an overall 12 percent decline during that period, according to a report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance released ahead of its conference in London on Monday. read more

Oil Majors Cut Greenhouse Gas Pollution

By Foster Wong: 18 September 2017

Big Oil had started fighting climate change before President Donald Trump took office read more

What You Missed in Royal Dutch Shell plc’s Quarterly Report

Global energy giant Royal Dutch Shell hinted at how one number, over time, could change the future of the company

Reuben Gregg Brewer: (TMFReubenGBrewer): Sep 1, 2017 at 9:16AM Royal Dutch Shell plc (NYSE:RDS-A) (NYSE:RDS-B) is one of the world’s largest integrated oil majors. It competes with the likes of ExxonMobil, Chevron, and Total. It recently doubled down on the energy business with a $50 billion acquisition. But while it’s working to pay off the debt it took on to get that deal done, CEO Ben van Beurden made an interesting statement about the future that you may have missed in the numbers of Shell’s quarterly report.

What Shell looks like now

There’s no question about how Royal Dutch Shell makes money. It is one of the world’s largest oil and natural gas drillers, with a large footprint in liquified natural gas. Oil and gas have been the driving force, broadly speaking, throughout all of the company’s over 100-years of existence. Investor questions generally focus on what management is doing to support and grow its core operations.

In the first half of the year that included capital spending of roughly $11.5 billion. The goal for the year is for capital spending of between $25 and $30 billion. Right now management expects to be toward the low-end of that range. That range, meanwhile, is the goal every year from now until 2020. read more

Royal Dutch Shell In The Clear

: Aug 23, 2017

Summary

  • Shell’s latest quarter was marked by successful cost reductions and acquisition-related synergies.
  • Shell seems to be able to meet its cash flow obligations without much trouble.
  • I recommend Shell for income investors, but with a few caveats.

Back on May 24th I “sounded the all clear” on Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) (NYSE:RDS.B). Shell, I felt, would henceforth be able to pay its dividends and capital expenditure from operational cash flow. Shell’s latest quarter was another continuation of that, with ongoing synergies from the huge BG Group acquisition two years ago and also continued opex savings. Shell’s pro-forma workforce is about 30% smaller than it was in the beginning of 2016, and while that may not be good for employees who were laid off, it is a reflection of impressive modernization and productivity gains from the company itself. read more

Total overtakes Shell in North Sea where appetite for assets remains high

AUGUST 22, 2017 / 2:13 PM

LONDON (Reuters) – French oil major Total (TOTF.PA) has overtaken rival Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) to become the second-largest producer in the North Sea with its acquisition of Maersk’s (MAERSKb.CO) Norwegian and UK producing assets.

The $7.45 billion deal by Total was welcomed by the market, with analysts saying it helped the French company rebalance its portfolio by adding assets in developed countries after going for projects in riskier places such as Iran and Russia. read more

Oil producers signal offshore return in latest Gulf of Mexico auction

 Unused oil rigs sit in the Gulf of Mexico near Port Fourchon, Louisiana August 11, 2010. Lee Celano/File Photo

Royal Dutch Shell claimed the largest number of blocks, with 19 high bids valued at a combined $25.1 million.

Liz Hampton: AUGUST 16, 2017

HOUSTON (Reuters) – Major oil producers pushed up high bids at a Gulf of Mexico offshore auction to $121 million (94.08 million pounds) on Wednesday, a nearly seven-fold increase from a year ago, as their return to deep water exploration gained momentum.

This compared with $18 million in high bids at the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) Outer Continental Shelf auction last summer. read more

The Oil Price Tug Of War

Shell pivots to electricity. The FT reports on the strategic shift underway at Royal Dutch Shell, which is moving to sell electricity to industrial consumers. The move highlights the potential for an oil major to adapt to a rapidly changing energy landscape. Beginning next year, Shell will sell electricity in the UK, but the company has said it would like to expand to the U.S. In the past, oil companies have declined to enter the electricity business, but with long-term oil demand uncertain, oil producers can hedge their bets by getting into electricity.

By Tom Kool – Aug 15, 2017, 3:00 PM CDT

Oil prices remain in a game of tug of war as conflicting news sends both the bears and the bulls to the sidelines.

• In 2015, the U.S. spent the least on energy in over a decade, largely due to the collapse of oil prices.

• In real terms, the U.S. spent $1.27 trillion on energy in 2015, down 20 percent from a year earlier.

• In inflation-adjusted terms, as well as in terms of percentage of GDP, the expenditures were the lowest since 2004. read more

Big Oil Follows Silicon Valley Into Backing Green Energy Firms

Oil majors quietly investing into new technology start-ups

‘Disruptive power’ from small companies prompts Shell to move

Major oil companies are joining Silicon Valley in backing energy-technology start-ups, a signal that that those with the deepest pockets in the industry are casting around for a new strategy.

From Royal Dutch Shell Plc to Total SA and Exxon Mobil Corp., the biggest investor-owned oil companies are dribbling money into ventures probing the edge of energy technologies. The investments go beyond wind and solar power into projects that improve electricity grids and brew new fuels from renewable resources. read more

Exxon Knew, Shell Knew, They All Knew

08/09/2017 07:17 am ET

In 2015, the Union of Concerned Scientists published its landmark exposé“The Climate Deception Dossiers,” which show that not only Exxon, but also Shell, BP, ConocoPhillips, Chevron and coal giant Peabody Energy were aware of the climate change reality since the 70s. Even so, through special interest groups, they invested tens of millions “to sow doubt and promote contrarian arguments they knew to be wrong.”

The fuel that powers this planetary sabotage is called greed. The fossil fuel industry worldwide has accumulated stratospheric levels of wealth over the decades. Moreover, according to a report just published by World Development, in 2015, fossil fuels received a staggering $5.3 trillion in subsidies around the world. This includes not only taxpayer money but also the costs of deaths caused by pollution and these fuels’ contribution to the climate crisis. read more

Kazakhstan: US sanctions will not affect oil projects

Kazakhstan: US sanctions will not affect oil projects

by: : 8 Aug 2017

New US sanctions against Russia will not affect multi-billion dollar oil projects in Kazakhstan backed by Chevron, ExxonMobil and other western energy majors, the country’s economy minister has said. Italy’s Eni, France’s Total, Exxon and Royal Dutch Shell all hold stakes in Kashagan, another Kazakh oil field. The decision to expand sanctions… was taken to primarily target Gazprom’s under-construction Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Germany… partially funded by… Shell… FULL FT ARTICLE read more

Nigeria’s state oil company signs deals with Chevron, Shell

LAGOS, Aug 3 (Reuters) – Nigeria’s state oil company said on Thursday it had signed financing agreements with Chevron and Shell worth at least $780 million to boost crude production and reserves.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said a joint venture agreement with Chevron Nigeria Limited would see the development of proven and probable reserves of 211 million barrels at the joint Sonam project.

“The project is expected to begin to bear fruits in (the) next three and six months,” NNPC said in a statement, adding it was targeting production of 39,000 barrels per day of liquids and 283 million standard cubic feet of gas per day. read more

The Secret Behind Better Oil Major Earnings

By Gregory Brew – Aug 02, 2017, 6:00 PM CDT

After several years of austerity and belt-tightening, the major international oil companies posted substantial profits in Q2 of 2017. The five largest private oil companies together generated more than $30 billion in profit, an indication that most have successfully adapted to the current bout of low prices, while a few have publicly indicated their belief that prices will hover around $50 for the foreseeable future.

What this means is that the “mega projects” that dominated many companies’ balance sheets for the last decade will become increasingly rare, as the majors pivot towards short-term, low-risk ventures with a faster turnaround. A closer look at each company shows how individual firms have adapted in distinct ways to this new era. read more

Oil Companies at Last See Path to Profits After Painful Spell

ABERDEEN, Scotland — This port city built of granite on the North Sea has taken a battering in recent years. Plunging oil prices hit the petroleum industry, which dominates the economy. Tens of thousands of jobs were slashed. Projects worth billions of dollars were sent back to the drawing board.

Oil executives here now speak with a relief similar to survivors of a fierce storm.

“I feel good about the North Sea, to tell you the truth,” Mark J. Thomas, North Sea regional president for the oil giant BP, said in an interview at the company’s offices near Aberdeen’s airport. “It is remarkably different than where we were even just a few years ago.” read more

European oil majors seek to harness U.S. offshore wind

Karolin Schaps and Susanna Twidale: AUGUST 1, 2017 / 10:34 AM

LONDON (Reuters) – Some European oil majors have made inroads into the emerging U.S. offshore wind energy market, aiming to leverage their experience of deepwater development and the crowded offshore wind arena at home.

Late entrants to the offshore wind game in Europe, which began with a project off Denmark 25 years ago and is now approaching maturity, they are looking across the Atlantic at what they view as a huge and potentially lucrative new market. read more

LNG possibility lives on, even after death of Pacific NorthWest LNG

And two other large global energy players with regulatory approval from the B.C. and Canadian governments say they are trying to position themselves to be ready to make a decision on building their own billions-of-dollars of mega-projects in northwest B.C. to coincide with increased demand they forecast could kick in by the middle of next decade. Those projects are LNG Canada led by Royal Dutch Shell plc and Kitimat LNG, a 50-50 venture of Chevron and Australian-based Woodside Energy. read more

Cheap oil forcing a rethink, says Royal Dutch Shell

  • The Wall Street Journal

Royal Dutch Shell has presented a pessimistic vision for the future of oil, even as the company reported success in generating cash during a prolonged energy downturn.

Shell has cut costs and said it was preparing for a world in which crude prices might never regain precrash levels and petroleum demand declined.

Shell chief executive Ben van Beurden said the company had a mindset that oil prices would remain “lower forever” .

“We have to have projects that are resilient in a world where oil has peaked,” Mr van Beurden told reporters on a conference call discussing the company’s second-quarter financial results. “When it will happen we don’t know, but that it will happen we are certain.” read more

Shell Braces For ‘Lower Forever’ Oil As Profits Soar

Shell Braces For ‘Lower Forever’ Oil As Profits Soar

by  Reuters: Ron Bousso & Karolin Schaps: Thursday, July 27, 2017

LONDON, July 27 (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell is gearing up for a world of “lower forever” oil prices, its Chief Executive Ben van Beurden said on Thursday, after the company’s profits tripled in the second quarter.

The oil and gas industry has struggled with three years of weak prices while also facing the prospect of oil demand plateauing by the end of the next decade.

But Europe’s largest energy company was able to boost its profits more than expected, increase cash flow to $12.2 billion and reduce debt thanks to asset sales and as big savings introduced since the oil price collapse kicked in. read more

Shell backs gas export limits

: Resources reporter, Melbourne: 28 July 2017

Royal Dutch Shell chief executive Ben van Beurden has said he is very supportive of Malcolm Turnbull’s moves to impose export restrictions to increase domestic supply on the east coast, where Shell runs the Queensland Curtis LNG project.

But the oil major has revealed there have been some unspecified operational problems at QCLNG, which exports coal-seam gas from Gladstone.

Speaking on a second-quarter earnings call in London last night, Mr Van Beurden backed the Prime Minister’s intervention in the markets, which gives the government the power to restrict exports from any LNG project that is not a “net contributor” to domestic markets. read more

Shell Profits Triple on Stronger Refining, Oil Prices

Shell CEO Ben van Beurden

LONDON — Royal Dutch Shell more than tripled its profits in the second quarter to beat forecasts boosted by strong refining operations and a rise in oil prices.

The Anglo-Dutch oil and gas company also reported a huge recovery in cash flow to $12.2 billion and a drop in debt as its cost reduction efforts in recent years paid off. It has sold some $25 billion of assets since acquiring BG Group last year.

The strong results came despite a dip in oil and gas production versus the previous quarter as a result of reduced output from a facility in Qatar. read more

After false dawn, Big Oil to double down on cost cuts

LONDON (Reuters) – After a brief respite at the start of the year, the world’s top oil and gas companies are set to double down on cost cutting as a recovery in crude prices after a three-year slump falters.

Corporate hopes were raised by a deal between members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and other non-OPEC producers to cut production, which lifted oil prices above $58 a barrel in January, after they had slid to as low as $27 in 2016.

But Brent crude prices have since slipped back below $50 and banks have lowered price forecasts, amid surging output from the United States and other nations not bound by the global oil pact. read more

This could be the next big strategy for suing over climate change

July 20 at 1:13 PM

Two California coastal counties and one beach-side city touched off a possible new legal front in the climate change battle this week, suing dozens of major oil, coal, and other fossil fuel companies for the damages they say they will incur due to rising seas.

The three cases, which target firms such as Chevron, ExxonMobil, BP and Royal Dutch Shell, assert that the fossil fuel producers are collectively responsible for about 20 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions between 1965 and 2015. They claim that industry “knew or should have known” decades ago about the threat of climate change, and want companies to pay the costs of communities forced to adapt to rising seas. read more

Who Stands To Gain The Most From Oil’s Rise In Price?

: 20 July 2017

Summary

*Five of the largest oil sector firms all move directly with the price of oil, but at varying degrees.

*ConocoPhillips has historically moved at an almost dollar per dollar ratio to oil.

*Shell and BP are far less sensitive to the change in oil prices as their American counterparts.

*BP has a quarter of the sensitivity to the price of oil as ConocoPhillips does.

By Eric Mason

As oil approaches its consensus floor for price per barrel, the next move can only be upwards. To take advantage of this pending uptick, which of the major oil sector firms offers the best growth relative to the price of oil? This article will help shine some light on which stock is the best pick for gains. read more

Investors Squeezing Oil & Gas Developers To Cut Methane

Investors Squeezing Oil & Gas Developers To Cut Methane

, I write about the global energy business.: July 20, 2017: Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

Oil and gas developers may soon be feeling the effects of a one-two punch — an adverse court ruling dealing with their methane emissions and now an investor-led initiative pushing them to be more transparent.

Natural gas, of course, has become the fuel of choice — a fuel that markets itself as far less pollutive than coal. But methane is its main component, which is 84 times more potent than CO2, although its lifespan is 20 years compared to 100. Indeed, methane makes up about 25% of the global warming today. read more

Iran Looks To Close More Deals But Oil Majors Are Cautious

By Gregory Brew – Jul 18, 2017, 9:30 AM CDT

Iran is on track to reach a major national milestone this year, if the nation’s oil spokesmen are to be believed. On Wednesday deputy oil minister Amir Hossein Zamaninia predicted oil production would reach 4 million bpd by the end of 2017, and certainly exceed that level by the end of the Iranian calendar year (March 2018).

Since international sanctions on its oil and gas industry were lifted in January 2016, Iran has managed to increase production to pre-sanctions levels, reaching 3.8 million in May 2017, the highest level in seven years. But 4 million bpd, long a national goal and symbolic of a full recovery, is now within reach. read more

Lawsuits rise against Big Oil

While Washington dithers, the courthouse could become the next battleground against climate change. San Mateo and Marin counties, along with San Diego County’s Imperial Beach, filed lawsuits Monday against 37 oil, gas and coal companies, accusing them of ramping up extraction of fossil fuels for decades even though they knew the resulting carbon pollution would have devastating effects on the planet.

To anyone who followed the long legal fight against Big Tobacco, the arguments have a familiar ring. The plaintiffs claim the defendants: read more

Kazakhstan and Eurasia new oil consortium in a multi-billion Caspian project

LONDON (TCA) — In a move presented as glorious and spectacular, oil companies from Russia (Rosneft), China (CNPC), Kazakhstan (Kazmunaygas), Azerbaijan (SOCAR) and Italy (Eni) have teamed up to form a consortium for the exploration and exploitation of what is expected to be a new “giant” located in the very heart of the northern Caspian tectonic structure. The project, if successful and market demand to remain unchanged, should prolong the position of Kazakhstan as a global-scale oil supplier from 2040 till 2080. The Kazakhs are committed to contribute in the order of a billion greenbacks each year from now to the project. No overall picture of the total price tag has been presented so far. read more

Royal Dutch Shell: Talking The Talk, But Walking The Walk?

: July 12, 2017

Summary

  • CEO Ben van Beurden reinforces Shell’s readiness to play its part in achieving Paris agreement targets, but execution on this goal unclear.
  • Shell to acquire Texas company MP2 Energy, which has renewable energy and demand response focus.
  • Shell endorses Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures report.

There is massive change happening in the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy in the power and transport industries. While the major oil and gas companies have acknowledged the change, apart from Total (NYSE:TOT) there is little indication that other oil companies Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM), Chevron (NYSE:CVX) or BP (NYSE:BP) have concrete plans to change quickly. Here I consider whether Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS.A)(NYSE:RDS.B) is getting serious about the change.

All of the oil and gas majors are under pressure, but Shell is particularly challenged as its debt has blown out due the acquisition of BG Group for $50 billion. A key part of the next steps involves debt reduction through divestment. The BG investment could prove problematic as the world is awash with new LNG projects coming on stream. For the last 3 quarters it could pay its high dividend (6.9%) from free cash flow, but this was in an environment where the Brent price was $54/barrel. This can’t continue if the oil price stays where it is now. So it is a pretty challenging time for Shell. read more

Oil majors face downgrades if crude prices don’t pick up: S&P

JULY 12, 2017

LONDON (Reuters) – Big oil firms would face increased credit rating downgrade pressures if crude prices stayed below $50 a barrel on average until the end of 2018 and they did not compensate by cutting costs, S&P Global said on Wednesday.

S&P currently has downgrade warnings – or negative outlooks in rating agency parlance – on ExxonMobil XOM.n, Chevron Corp (CVX.N) and Total (TOTF.PA), while the other so-called ‘majors’ include Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) and BP (BP.L). read more

Oil Majors Face Ratings Cuts Amid Weak Recovery, S&P Global Says

Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp. and other oil majors could see their credit ratings slashed again if they fail to cut costs and reduce their growing debt loads in the next year, according to an S&P Global Ratings report.

The world’s largest drillers failed to take advantage of high prices during the boom years before 2014 to repay debt, according to the report published on Tuesday. Instead they embarked on costly investments in new projects and dividends, leaving them unprepared for the painful downturn that ensued. read more

Nigeria Delta Communities Demand Stake in Ex-Shell Oil Block

A group of communities in Nigeria’s Niger River delta demanded a stake in an oil block it said it was promised when Royal Dutch Shell Plc sold its share to a local company six years ago.

The communities in the Gbaramatu district, near the southern oil town of Warri, want 5 percent of a lease owned by Lagos-based Neconde Energy Ltd.and state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corp., according to a statement emailed by the group on Friday.

Neconde “refused to fulfill the 5 percent equity share to the host communities, whose environment has been negatively impacted and devastated by oil activities, destroying our age-long traditional fishing business,” Momotimi Guwor, a spokesman for the communities, said in the statement. read more

Qatar signals LNG price war for market share in Asia

U.S. and European oil majors such as Royal Dutch Shell and Chevron have invested huge sums over the last decade – often more than they have spent on oil – in an attempt to dominate the LNG market, especially through mega-projects in Australia such as Chevron’s Gorgon or Shell’s Prelude.

By Henning Gloystein and Mark Tay | SINGAPORE

Qatar’s plan to boost liquefied natural gas (LNG) output by 30 percent is the opening shot in a price war for customers in Asia pitting the Gulf state against competitors from the United States, Russia and Australia.

Qatar, facing regional isolation in a diplomatic dispute with its Gulf neighbors, took energy markets by surprise on Tuesday when it said it would raise its LNG production to 100 million tonnes per year – equivalent to a third of current global supplies – within the next five to seven years. read more

Oil majors lost $115 billion in market value since April

ExxonMobil, Chevron, Total, Royal Dutch Shell, and British Petroleum are the five biggest players on the index, which includes 85 other majors. Together, they have lost $115 billion in market value since the beginning of April, Bloomberg reports, according to World Oil.

By Zainab Calcuttawala – Jul 04, 2017, 5:00 PM CDT

Operational improvements in shale and non-shale oil drilling, on top of lower expenses for oilfield services and access to pipeline capacity, have driven down the costs of producing the fossil fuel since the 2014 market crash. But the increase in output has forced barrel prices into a deeper bearish market, causing further damage to corporate bottom lines.

This trend is mapped clearly in the MSCI’s World Energy Index, which measures the progress of large and medium sized companies in 23 oil-producing countries on a quarterly basis. ExxonMobil, Chevron, Total, Royal Dutch Shell, and British Petroleum are the five biggest players on the index, which includes 85 other majors. Together, they have lost $115 billion in market value since the beginning of April, Bloomberg reports, according to World Oil. read more

Crude Slump Wipes $113 Billion From Oil Drillers

By Rakteem Katakey: 30 June 2017

Oil companies have spent three years slashing spending and firing workers to protect profits, only to find their hard work blown away as prices entered another bear market. The MSCI World Energy Sector Index is heading for a second consecutive quarter of declines, mirroring the drop in crude. The 90 companies that make up the index, including giants like Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell Plc, have together lost $115 billion in market value since the start of April, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. read more

Big Oil: Surviving at $40, Thriving at $60

By Ben Levisohn:  The price of oil is rising today, but that hasn’t helped oil stocks like ExxonMobil (XOM), Chevron (CVX), Total (TOT), and Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A), which remain little changed or under pressure.

The International Integrateds and Majors can survive in a $40-50/bbl oil price range, in our view; however, we continue to see >$60/bbl required for them to thrive. We expect companies to continue pulling on all operational and financial levers in order to adjust to the oil price reality… read more

In Disaster’s Wake, BP Doubles Down on Deepwater Despite Surging Shale

Majors including Exxon Mobil Corp, Chevron Corp and Royal Dutch Shell have maintained Gulf operations but focused expansions on U.S. shale.

THUNDER HORSE OIL PLATFORM, Gulf of Mexico — About 300 BP workers commute 150 miles here by helicopter, from the Louisiana coast to a deep-sea drilling platform that can produce more oil in a day than a West Texas rig can pump in a year.

On the deck of Thunder Horse, they work two-week shifts, drink seawater from a desalination plant, and eat ribs and chicken ferried in by boat. On the ocean floor, robots provide remote eyes and arms as drills extract up to 265,000 barrels per day. read more

Oil Majors Snatch Up Mexican Oil Blocks

By Nick Cunningham – Jun 20, 2017, 4:00 PM CDT

Mexico hosted another oil auction on Monday, auctioning off shallow water oil and gas blocks to international companies. The auction was the latest in a series of offerings related to the country’s historic energy reform, which opened up Mexico’s energy sector to private investment.

The latest auction had modest hopes, as the blocks on offer were in shallow water areas, far from the much more sought after deepwater blocks near the U.S. maritime border. But the results exceeded expectations, with a handful of oil majors jumping into the fray.  read more

Shell buys Chevron’s Trinidad and Tobago subsidiary for $250M

|By: , SA News Editor

Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) agrees to acquire Chevron’s (CVX -0.4%) subsidiary in Trinidad and Tobago for $250M.

The deal includes CVX’s Trinidad and Tobago’s interest in the 10T cf Loran Manatee cross-border gas field shared with neighboring Venezuela; CVX retains its interest in the block on the Venezuela side of the border.

Shell has been expanding its holdings in Trinidad and Tobago since its purchase of BG Group and is seeking to rival BP as the biggest player in the area. read more

Shell shareholders reject emissions target proposal

By Karolin Schaps | THE HAGUE

Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) shareholders on Tuesday widely rejected a proposal by an environmental group calling for the oil company to set and publish annual targets to reduce carbon emissions.

The vote is a setback for climate activists who are increasing pressure on global oil companies, including U.S. firms Exxon Mobil (XOM.N) and Chevron (CVX.N), to become more ambitious in helping combat climate change.

Around 94 percent of Shell shareholders who cast a vote decided against resolution 21, according to final results reported following the company’s annual general meeting (AGM) in The Hague. Roughly 5 percent of voters abstained. read more

Get Ready for Peak Oil Demand

By Lynn Cook and Elena Cherney: 

Forecasts for peak oil demand diverge by decades. The Paris-based International Energy Agency argues that demand will grow, albeit slowly, past 2040. And the two biggest U.S. oil companies, Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. , say peak demand isn’t in sight.

But some big European producers predict that a peak could emerge as soon as 2025 or 2030, and they are overhauling their long-term investment plans to diversify away from crude oil. Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Norway’s Statoil SA are placing bigger bets on natural gas and renewables, including wind and solar. read more

Nigerian oil workers extend Exxon Mobil strike to Chevron, Agip and Shell

May 16 Nigerian workers from an oil labour union have extended a strike to oil majors Chevron, Shell and Eni subsidiary Agip in protest over the sacking of members from Exxon Mobil Corp, the union’s general secretary said on Tuesday.

Lumumba Okugbara, of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), said union representatives would meet Exxon Mobil management on Tuesday for talks. Members of the union began a strike at Exxon Mobil last week.

(Reporting by Anamesere Igboeroteonwu; Writing by Alexis Akwagyiram; Editing by Mark Potter) read more

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