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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

ShareAction urges investors to reject BP, Shell pay policies leftright 2/2leftright

Graphic from a Financial Mail On Sunday article published in Sept 2015

Campaign group ShareAction on Tuesday called for investors to oppose remuneration policies at oil majors BP and Royal Dutch Shell as the policies were not tied closely enough to targets to reduce carbon emissions.

ShareAction said this meant both companies’ plans were misaligned with the interests of long-term shareholders.

ShareAction said it had contacted shareholders at both companies and was helping pension savers to write to their funds about voting down the remuneration policies. read more

Shell-BG Merger Benefits Becoming More Clear

: May 8, 2017

When I decided to position for a coming oil price recovery towards the end of 2015, I decided on buying Shell (NYSE:RDS.A), alongside Suncor (NYSE:SU) and Chevron (NYSE:CVX). My investment strategy always has a longer term horizon, therefore Shell was an obvious choice, given the very generous dividend. When deciding to hold a stock for a number of years, it really makes a difference, as long as the dividend is sustainable, of course.

There were other factors which I saw as positive long term prospects that makes Shell stock worth holding on to for a while. Shell’s leadership in the LNG sector, in large part thanks to the BG deal is one of the things that attracted me to the stock. As I stated many times before, I believe that natural gas will eventually become the number one energy source on the planet and as such it will have to become more flexible in terms of delivery. LNG shipments will most likely become a globally strategic industry, which is likely to grow a lot in coming years and decades. read more

New Shell finance boss says North Sea remains important to oil and gas giant

MARK WILLIAMSON: 5 MAY 2017

ROYAL Dutch Shell’s new finance chief has said the company will continue to invest in the North Sea where it is making good returns but declined to rule out selling off more UK assets.

Speaking after Shell posted a 140 per cent increase in first quarter profits, Jessica Uhl said the North Sea remains important to the firm although rationalisation moves will leave it with a much reduced presence in the area.

The oil and gas giant agreed in January to sell a portfolio of mature assets which account for around half its UK production to Chrysaor for up to $3.8 billion. read more

Royal Dutch Shell sees profits jump as oil price rises

4 May 2017

The Anglo-Dutch giant said profits on a current cost of supply measure – which strips out price fluctuations – jumped to $3.4bn (£2.6bn) from $1bn last year.

A 55% rise in oil prices in the first quarter of 2017 compared with a year earlier was the main driver of profits.

Shell joins rivals BP, Exxon Mobil, Chevron and Total in reporting better-than-expected results.

More than $1bn in cost savings and budget cuts made over the past three years from cost-cuts and assets sales have also helped to increase cash flow and boost profits. read more

Shell’s first-quarter profit more than doubles

By Ron Bousso | LONDON

Royal Dutch Shell reported a sharp rise in net profit on Thursday, beating analyst forecasts and joining its peers as stronger oil prices and improved refining margins boosted revenue after nearly three years of downturn.

A billion dollars in cost savings and budget cuts made over the past three years, as well as around $20 billion of asset sales following the $54 billion acquisition of BG Group last February, also helped increase cash flow and boost profits.

After completing the integration of BG Group in the third quarter of last year, the company and investors are turning their focus to increasing revenue and reducing debt as oil prices appear to recover. read more

‘Very impressive’ first quarter results predicted for BP, Shell

‘Very impressive’ first quarter results predicted for BP, Shell

An analyst has said “the numbers are going to look very impressive” for oil majors Shell and BP when they publish their first quarter results this week.

Written by

Iain Armstrong, divisional director at Brewin Dolphin, said most companies could look forward to good year-on-year comparisons, considering the depths oil prices plunged to during the same quarter last year.

Brent crude slipped to below $30 at the start of 2016, having been above $110 in mid-2014.

Shell suffered pre-tax losses of $642million in the first quarter of 2016, while BP recorded pre-tax losses totalling $865million. Both firms achieved multi-billion dollar profits a year earlier. read more

Oil Supermajors Dig Way Out of Doldrums as Cash Poised to Surge

by Rakteem Katakey: 26 April 2017, 00:01 BST

Big Oil’s struggle against crude’s collapse is starting to ease, giving some companies enough cash to pay shareholders without piling on more debt.

The world’s five biggest non-state oil producers, known as the supermajors, probably increased cash from operations by a combined 67 percent last quarter from a year earlier, according to HSBC Bank Plc analysts Gordon Gray and Kim Fustier. That may allow some to cover dividends and capital spending without borrowing for the first time since 2012, they said. read more

Why Big Oil wants Trump to stay in Paris climate deal

  @mattmegan5 April 18, 2017: 12:27 PM ET

President Trump could deal the landmark Paris climate agreement a massive blow this week.

The U.S. president is huddling with advisers on Tuesday to explore whether he should yank America from the international accord aimed at slowing global warming.

But some powerful forces — with real skin in the game — are urging Trump not to abandon the 2015 Paris deal brokered among more than 175 nations.

Surprisingly, it’s the big oil companies who are vocally supporting the climate agreement, joining others in the administration that include Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner. read more

Nigeria to Start Repayment of $5 Billion Oil Debt This Month

by Elisha Bala-Gbogbo: 

Nigeria will start paying back a $5.1 billion debt owed to international oil companies, including Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell Plc, with a first installment this month in accordance with an agreement reached last year.

“The initial payments would be made by the end of April 2017,” Emmanuel Kachikwu, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, said in an emailed statement Wednesday. The energy companies are expected to reciprocate “by ensuring that they ramp up investments in the country’s oil and gas sector,” he said. read more

Despite cuts to jobs, spending, oil giants fail to cover costs

  • SARAH KENT
  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM April 4, 2017

The world’s biggest oil companies are struggling just to break even.

Despite billions of dollars in spending cuts and a modest oil price rebound, ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron and BP didn’t make enough money last year to cover costs, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis.

To calculate each companies’ free cash flow — the excess cash remaining after costs — the Journal deducted the firm’s dividends and capital expenditures from its cash from operations. All four firms fell short of cash flow for the year, although Exxon said it broke even by its own metrics, which exclude dividends. The analysis also showed that the four companies ended last year with more debt than they began it. read more

Oil Companies’ Modest Prize: Breaking Even

By SARAH KENT: April 2, 2017 8:00 a.m. ET

The world’s biggest oil companies are struggling just to break even.

Despite billions of dollars in spending cuts and a modest oil-price rebound, Exxon Mobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Chevron Corp. and BP PLC didn’t make enough money in 2016 to cover their costs, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis.

To calculate each companies’ free cash flow – the excess cash…

ACCESS TO FULL ARTICLE SUBJECT TO WSJ SUBSCRIPTION

Big Oil’s Plan to Buy Into the Shale Boom

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

Big Oil is muscling in on shale country.

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

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

YPF, Shell sign deal for Vaca Muerta pilot project

Argentina’s state-run oil company YPF SA said it reached a preliminary deal with Royal Dutch Shell Plc on Thursday to develop oil and gas assets in the Vaca Muerta shale field, involving a $300 million investment from Shell.

Both companies will take a 50 percent stake in the Bajada de Añelo field to develop a pilot program, which will be operated by Shell, YPF said in a statement. The agreement is subject to approval by provincial authorities, and Shell’s investment will come in two phases, YPF said. read more

OPEC Output Cuts End Big Oil’s Trading Bonanza

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nigeria Tells Shell, Eni to Temporarily Cede Oil Field Control

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

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

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

Kazakhstan, Shell-Eni group continue talks over tax dispute

January 26, 2017

ASTANA (Reuters) – Kazakhstan has agreed to continue talks about a tax dispute with the Karachaganak consortium of oil majors led by Shell (RDSa.L) and Eni (ENI.MI) despite beginning arbitration proceedings, the Kazakh Energy Ministry said on Thursday.

Quoting minister Kanat Bozumbayev, a ministry spokesman said the sides had agreed in December to extend talks by nine months and Kazakhstan might stop the arbitration if it was satisfied with the consortium’s offer. read more

Shell Prelude LNG over-promise and under-delivery

Extracts from a Reuters/Nasdaq article Australia’s Ichthys LNG dealt blow as major contractor pulls plug”  dated 25 Jan 2017.

Australia’s$200 billion LNG production ramp-up is one of the biggest increases in supply the industry has ever seen, and it will lift Australia over Qatar as the world’s biggest exporter of the fuel.

Even so, most of Australia’s LNG projects currently under construction, including Chevron’s huge Gorgon facility and Royal Dutch Shell’s floating Prelude production vessel, are having trouble keeping within budget and sticking to schedules, and more delays are expected. read more

Shell Seeks to Streamline in 2017

…saddled with a mountain of debt…

By SARAH KENT: Jan. 3, 2017 7:00 a.m. ET

LONDON— Royal Dutch Shell PLC has a goal for 2017: Slimming down. The British-Dutch oil-and-gas giant bulked up in February with the roughly $50 billion acquisition of BG Group PLC, giving Shell a dominant position in liquefied natural gas and some of the world’s most prized offshore oil fields in Brazil. It also saddled the company with a mountain of debt—$78 billion at the end of the third quarter—that is higher than peers such as Exxon Mobil Corp. read more

Shell to sell Australian aviation fuels unit to Viva Energy

Shell to sell Australian aviation fuels unit to Viva Energy

by Angela Macdonald-Smith: 19 December 2016

Royal Dutch Shell has struck a $US250 million ($343 million) deal to sell its local aviation fuels division to Viva Energy in a further slimming down of its downstream operations in Australia.

The sale follows the oil giant’s $2.9 billion divestment of its other refining and fuels activities to Viva in 2014 and comes amid heightened speculation that Shell is getting set to offload its remaining stake in Woodside Petroleum.

The deal, expected to formally close by md-2017, will see the Shell brand still used for the aviation refuelling business under a licensing deal similar to the arrangement Viva has to use the logo for its petrol retailing business. Regulatory approvals still need to be secured. read more

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

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

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

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

Debt Reduction, Cost Discipline Core Challenges for new Shell CFO

By SARAH KENT: Dec 15, 2016 8:33 am ET

Royal Dutch Shell PLC’s new finance chief has two big challenges: a mountain of debt and the pressure to keep down costs.

The British-Dutch oil giant on Thursday said its new chief financial officer will be Jessica Uhl, who is currently the top finance official for one of Shell’s most important units: Integrated Gas.

The BG merger bolstered Shell’s leading position in global natural-gas markets and led to the creation of the gas unit where Ms. Uhl worked. It also caused Shell’s net debt to balloon to $86.63 billion at the end of the third quarter… read more

Kazakh President Says Partners in Shell Oil Field Face Tax Claim

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

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

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

Nigeria reaches a deal to pay $5.1 billion in unpaid bills to oil majors – minister

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By Felix Onuah

Nov 17 Nigeria has reached a deal to pay $5.1 billion in unpaid bills to oil majors including Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil, the minister of state for oil said on Thursday.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the OPEC member’s state oil firm, has amassed a total of $6.8 billion in unpaid bills up to December 2015, so-called cash calls, that it was obliged to pay under joint ventures with Western oil firms, with which it explores for and produces oil. read more

How Royal Dutch Shell plc Has Changed in the Past Three Years

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SHELL EMPLOYEE AT WORK. IMAGE SOURCE: ROYAL DUTCH SHELL.  

By Reuben Gregg Brewer (ReubenGBrewer: Nov 17, 2016

Royal Dutch Shell plc (NYSE:RDS-A) (NYSE:RDS-B) is one of a small collection of international energy giants. That group, which includes companies like ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) and Chevron (NYSE:CVX), as a whole, is thought of as oil companies. But over the past few years, Royal Dutch Shell has taken steps to tip the balance toward natural gas, a key difference investors need to know about. read more

Shell Tops Ranks Of Ideal Oil, Gas Employers

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By Irina Slav – Nov 15, 2016, 10:10 AM CST

Shell has emerged as the number-one employer in the energy industry, according to a Rigzone survey among 8,400 respondents in more than 100 countries. This is the first survey of this kind since the start of the price slump.

The top 10 of the best employers in the industry, according to the survey, is occupied by Big Oil and Big Oilfield Service, with Chevron at #2, Exxon at #3, and BP at #4. Halliburton was fifth, followed by Schlumberger, Aramco, Total, Baker Hughes, and Weatherford International at #10. read more

Big Oil Looks Past Profit Crunch as Cash Flow Shows Recovery

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By Javier Blas: November 9, 2016

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

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

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

FT: Western oil companies reach $5B deal with Nigeria

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Nov. 8, 2016 10:23 AM ET|By: Carl Surran, SA News Editor

Nigeria’s government has reached an outline settlement to resolve a dispute with western energy firms that would pay the companies $5B to cover exploration and production joint venture costs in the country, Financial Times reports.

Nigeria’s petroleum minister tells FT that Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B), ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM), Eni (NYSE:E), Chevron (NYSE:CVX) and Total (NYSE:TOT) accepted the settlement of costs incurred during 2010-15, and hopes a deal can be finalized by year-end. read more

Western oil companies reach $5bn deal with Nigeria

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by: Anjli Raval and Maggie Fick in Lagos

Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, Nigeria’s minister of state for petroleum resources, told the Financial Times the settlement had been “accepted” by the five companies. It is hoped the deal can be finalised before the end of the year.

FULL FT ARTICLE

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