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Would you bet on a rapid rise in the oil price?

By Holly Black for the Daily Mail: PUBLISHED: 21:51, 17 March 2017 

Oil stocks took a knock this week as the price of the black stuff slipped to its lowest level since November.

Despite an agreement to cut production by 1.2m barrels a day by the oil cartel Opec being widely adhered to, supply is still outpacing demand.

Now some experts are concerned the deal could be derailed by a surge in the US, where a 55 per cent year-on-year jump in active rigs has driven production levels to record highs. 

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Nigerian court overturns seizure of oilfield from Shell and Eni

Nigerian court overturns seizure of oilfield from Shell and Eni

By ReutersPUBLISHED: 09:48, 17 March 2017 | UPDATED: 10:18, 17 March 2017

ABUJA, March 17 (Reuters) – A Nigerian court on Friday overturned a request by Nigeria’s financial crimes agency to seize an oilfield from Royal Dutch Shell and Eni.

In January, a court had ordered the seizure of the OPL 245 oil block and transfer of operations to the federal government on the request of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Oil companies Shell and Eni had filed motions to dispute this.

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Nigeria charges oil majors Shell, Eni with corruption

By AFPPUBLISHED: 22:33, 2 March 2017 

Nigeria’s anti-graft agency on Thursday filed corruption charges against oil majors Shell and Eni over a $1.3 billion offshore block deal.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) accused 11 defendants of “official corruption”, according to court documents.

Shell, Eni and Agip, Eni’s Nigerian subsidiary, are alleged to have corruptly given the “aggregate sum of $801 million” to Nigerian businessmen and politicians.

This is the latest probe into the controversial 2011 oil deal that highlights endemic corruption within the sector.

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UK court to rule if Nigeria Shell claims can proceed

By AFP PUBLISHED: 04:02, 26 January 2017

More than 40,000 Nigerians will on Thursday discover if London’s High Court can rule on their pollution claims against Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell over spills in the Niger Delta.

Lawyers for the claimants are demanding action from Shell to clean up spills that have devastated their communities for decades, but the multinational argues that the claims should be heard in Nigeria.

The firm’s lawyer Peter Goldsmith told judge Peter Fraser during a hearing in November that the cases concerned “fundamentally Nigerian issues”, and shouldn’t be heard in London.

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Jennifer Hudson hit with abuse from cruel trolls telling her to ‘kill herself’ after appearing in music video campaign for Shell

Victimised: Jennifer Hudson has faced abuse from cruel trolls after appearing in a music video campaign for Shell

By Julia Pritchard for MailOnline

PUBLISHED: 13:05, 8 January 2017 | UPDATED: 13:24, 8 January 2017

Jennifer Hudson has faced abuse from cruel trolls after appearing in a music video campaign for Shell. 

The singer, 35, performs a song called Best Day Of My Life alongside Pixie Lott and four other musicians, in order to promote the brand’s support of clean energy.

However the Daily Star reports that the new judge of The Voice UK has been attacked by environmentalists for participating in the Make The Future campaign – with one particularly abusive user even telling her to kill herself.

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Nigerian lawsuit revives billion-dollar oil scandal

Nigerian lawsuit revives billion-dollar oil scandal

By Associated Press21 December 2016

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria’s anti-corruption agency is reviving a five-year-old scandal involving one of Africa’s richest oil blocs, in which a former petroleum minister and his allies allegedly made $1.1 billion dollars and the state oil company $210 million.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission filed suit Tuesday in the federal high court charging former petroleum minister Dan Etete, former justice minister Mohammed Bello Adoke and businessman Aliyu Abubakar with fraud and money laundering of hundreds of millions of dollars in the sale of the bloc. The money came from a Nigerian escrow account at the London branch of JPMorgan Chase, according to the court document.

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Shell boss Simon Henry cashed in £1m days before he suddenly resigned

Shell boss Simon Henry 

IMAGES FROM DAILY MAIL ARTICLES PUBLISHED FRIDAY 16 DECEMBER 2016.

ALSO PUBLISHED BY THE DAILY MAIL ON THE SAME DATE

Shell finance boss tipped to take over the top job cashed in stock worth £1m days before he suddenly quit

By Rachel Millard For The Daily Mail: 21:58, 15 December 2016 

A finance boss at Royal Dutch Shell who was tipped to take over the top job has suddenly left – just days after he sold stock worth £1million.

Credited with leading the firm’s £41billion takeover of oil and gas group BG last year, Simon Henry was a key lieutenant of chief executive Ben van Beurden.

But the 55-year-old’s departure was announced yesterday to the shock of the markets. Relatively unknown internal finance executive Jessica Uhl has been appointed in his place.

It emerged Henry sold more than £1million of shares on December 1, within 24 hours of the historic Opec deal to cut production that then sent the price of oil soaring.

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The Nigerian King and a very brazen bid to squeeze millions out of Shell over pollution

By Rachel Millard For The Daily Mail7 December 2016 

Residents of the communities in south-east Nigeria remember clearly the day oil giant Shell first arrived in the 1950s.

Children could hear the rumble of the trucks from a distance, so they’d wave at the drivers as they passed.

It still happened when King Emere Godwin Bebe Okpabi, community leader of the Ogale community in Ogoniland, was growing up in the 1960s.

The region, largely marshland and swamps, was poor but the British firm, with its modern technology and skilled engineers, seemed to represent a new era of prosperity. 

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Shell seeks to block Nigeria pollution claims in London court

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By AFPPUBLISHED: 18:20, 22 November 2016

Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell on Tuesday urged a High Court judge in Britain to block pollution claims brought against it by more than 40,000 Nigerians, demanding the case be heard in Nigeria instead.

Lawyers for the claimants are demanding action from Shell to clean up oil spills that have devastated their Niger Delta communities for decades.

But Royal Dutch Shell lawyer Peter Goldsmith told High Court of England and Wales judge Peter Fraser that the cases concerned “fundamentally Nigerian issues”, and shouldn’t be heard in London.

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Nigerian farmers, fishermen sue Shell in UK over pollution

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screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-20-51-26By ASSOCIATED PRESS22 November 2016 

LONDON (AP) — Emere Godwin Bebe Okpabi, leader of Nigeria’s Ogale people, unpacked four bottles of water from his homeland and lined them up on a table to show why his subjects are suing Royal Dutch Shell in a London court.

The Nigerian water is contaminated with oil and cancer-causing compounds such as benzene. It’s what his people drink every day.

Britain’s High Court will begin hearing lawsuits on Tuesday filed by the Ogale and Bille people alleging that decades of oil spills have fouled the water and destroyed the lives of thousands of fishermen and farmers in the Niger River Delta, where a Shell subsidiary has operated since the 1950s. They brought their fight to Shell’s home base because they say the Nigerian courts are too corrupt.

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Shell case may launch wave of lawsuits

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By Emily Gosden, energy editor: 19 NOVEMBER 2016 

Royal Dutch Shell is facing a High Court battle over alleged environmental damage from its oil pipelines in Nigeria, in a test case that could open the floodgates to more multinationals being sued in London courts.

The oil giant and its subsidiary, the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC), are both being sued by two Nigerian communities, who are seeking about £100m in compensation after suffering repeated oil spills they claim came from SPDC pipelines in the Niger Delta.

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Oil stand-off threatens dividends at BP and Shell amid fears that a deal to prop up prices is about to collapse

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By SABAH MEDDINGS FOR THE DAILY MAILPUBLISHED: 23:34, 1 November 2016 | UPDATED: 23:34, 1 November 2016

Dividends at BP and Shell are set to come under threat as fears grow that a deal to prop up oil prices is about to collapse.

The two oil giants yesterday reported better-than-expected results – and gave a boost to their millions of small shareholders by protecting payouts.

But they have only been able to keep their dividends after slashing billions of pounds in costs following a collapse in the oil price from $112 a barrel in 2014 to less than $30.

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Royal Dutch Shell says 3Q earnings rose 18 percent

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By ASSOCIATED PRESS: 1 November 2016 

LONDON (AP) — Royal Dutch Shell says third-quarter earnings rose 18 percent, boosted by increased production after the acquisition of BG Group.

The company said Tuesday that profit adjusted for one-time items and the fluctuating value of inventories rose to $2.79 billion from $2.38 billion in the same period last year.

Gains from increased production more than offset falling oil prices. Oil and gas production rose 25 percent to the equivalent of 3.6 million barrels of oil a day. That includes 806,000 barrels a day from BG assets.

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Dutch government confirms cut in Groningen gas output

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Screen Shot 2016-09-01 at 08.40.08By REUTERSPUBLISHED: 23 September 2016

AMSTERDAM, Sept 23 (Reuters) – Gas extraction from the northern Groningen gas field will be held at 24 billion cubic metres per year for the coming five years, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Friday.

The decision made on Friday by Rutte’s government cemented a preliminary plan to cut output to minimise the risk of earthquakes resulting from production at Groningen, which once supplied 10 percent of the gas used in the European Union.

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Shell and BP have lost billions – now the low price of crude is hurting other firms too

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By LAURA CHESTERS FOR THE DAILY MAIL19 September 2016

Oil is slowly climbing back to $50 a barrel as a deal between Saudi Arabia and Russia and an agreement on production in Venezuela helped to stabilise prices.

The production agreements could finally give some assurances to dozens of companies who have suffered since crude slumped from $114 a barrel in 2014 to $28 early this year.

Oil supermajors such as BP and Shell have been high-profile casualties, losing billions in profits.

They’ve written off billions of pounds and have had to slash tens of thousands of jobs as they change their businesses to cope with the reduced profits.

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Argentina energy minister asked to sell stock in Shell

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screen-shot-2016-09-09-at-20-58-10By ASSOCIATED PRESSPUBLISHED: 20:54, 12 September 2016 

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Argentina’s anti-corruption office is asking the country’s energy minister to sell his stock in Royal Dutch Shell, where he was an executive of the local branch.

Juan Jose Aranguren became energy minister in December. He has faced growing criticism for continuing to own a reported $1.1 million in Shell’s class A shares.

The head of Argentina’s anti-corruption office said Monday that Aranguren should get rid of his stock or set up a blind trust to handle his finances.

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Militants bomb Shell oil pipeline in Nigeria: locals

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Screen Shot 2016-07-29 at 16.46.22By AFPPUBLISHED: 22:14, 31 July 2016

Nigerian militants on Sunday blew up a crude pipeline operated by Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell in the restive oil-producing south, residents said.

“The incident occurred at about 1:00 am near Odimodi community in Delta State with the velocity of the blast shaking apartments in the community amidst a huge ball of fire,” said local resident Endoro Newworld.

“The trunk line known as Trans Ramos belongs to the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), he said.

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Shell misses expectations with 70 percent earnings plunge

Screen Shot 2016-07-28 at 08.37.58By REUTERS: PUBLISHED: 08:16, 28 July 2016

By Karolin Schaps and Dmitry Zhdannikov

LONDON, July 28 (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell reported a more than 70 percent fall in quarterly profit on Thursday, well below analyst estimates, blaming weak oil prices, poor refining profits and higher charges resulting from its $54 billion acquisition of BG Group.

Shell’s current cost of supplies — its definition of net income — came to $1 billion in the second quarter, compared with analyst expectations of $2.2 billion and $3.8 billion achieved the same time last year.

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Shell takes sacked UK workers overseas service tax breaks

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Royal Dutch Shell has changed its redundancy terms so it can claim tax refunds that some UK workers would otherwise have been able to claim on redundancy payments, internal documents seen by Reuters show. Copies of one presentation have been published on Shell protest site: http://royaldutchshellgroup.com/

By REUTERS: PUBLISHED: 17:30, 8 July 2016

By Tom Bergin

LONDON, July 7 (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell has changed its redundancy terms so it can claim tax refunds that some UK workers would otherwise have been able to claim on redundancy payments, internal documents seen by Reuters show.

The move comes as the Hague-based oil giant is slashing 5,000 jobs this year following the collapse in oil prices and its merger with smaller UK rival BG Group.

The UK government allows employees who have worked part of their career overseas to reclaim some, or in some cases all, of the tax due on severance payments.

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Questions raised over impartiality of Shell’s auditor as it emerges they also worked for takeover rival BG Group

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Screen Shot 2016-05-21 at 10.18.28By LAURA CHESTERS FOR THE DAILY MAILPUBLISHED: 22:53, 24 May 2016

Royal Dutch Shell is facing allegations that the firm which signs off its accounts is not impartial.

A leading investor yesterday raised concerns that EY, which has been appointed as auditor of the oil supermajor, had a conflict of interest because it had checked the books of BG Group ahead of its £36billion merger with Shell.

Standard Life, which raised the objection, said it had it had already voiced concerns about conflicts of interest at the Shell annual general meeting last year and said that it voted against the appointment this year and was ‘disappointed’ with Shell’s decision to select EY.

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Shell CEO warns renewables shift could spell end if too swift

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By REUTERSPUBLISHED: 15:23, 24 May 2016

By Ron Bousso

THE HAGUE, May 24 (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell cannot switch too quickly to producing renewable energy without risking its dividend payments and even its very existence, the oil and gas group’s chief executive warned.

Major investors, including Dutch pension fund PGGM, have criticised Shell’s climate change policy in recent months, saying it should do more to mitigate climate change risks.

However, 97 percent of Shell shareholders at its annual meeting on Tuesday rejected a resolution to invest profits from fossil fuels to become a renewable energy company. The Anglo-Dutch firm had previously said it was against the proposal.

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Shell says oil sector needs to invest trillions even within climate limits

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By REUTERS: PUBLISHED: 12:47, 24 May 2016

THE HAGUE, May 24 (Reuters) – The oil and gas industry will need to invest up to $1 trillion per year even within the limits of the U.N.-backed goal of curbing global warming to 2 degrees, Royal Dutch Shell’s chief executive said on Tuesday.

“If collectively we find a way to stay within the 2 degree (Celsius limit), we will still need significant investment in oil and gas. I am not talking about a few millions, I am talking about up to a trillion dollars every year that industry has to invest just to stay within 2 degrees in oil and gas,” Ben van Beurden said at the company’s annual shareholder meeting in The Hague.

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Nigeria beefs up security after oil installation attacks

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By AFPPUBLISHED: 21 May 2016

President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered security to be stepped up in Nigeria’s oil-producing south, after a spate of attacks blamed on local militants that he said threatened the economy.

Buhari on Friday met senior executives of the Anglo-Dutch oil group Shell, whose Nigerian subsidiary has been targeted in recent months by a group calling itself the Niger Delta Avengers.

The group wants a fairer share of oil revenue for local people and wants a government amnesty programme that brought similar unrest to an end in 2009 to be continued.

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Shell shuts down three offices and asks the 1,600 staff involved to move or consider voluntary redundancy

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Oil giant warned last year that merger with BG would hit workers hard 

Staff in Reading and Manchester have option move to London head office 

Plans to put all London and South East operations into central London 

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 15.56.32By MARK SHAPLAND FOR THIS IS MONEY25 April 2016

Oil giant Shell is pushing ahead with plans to cut jobs and close three offices following its billion dollar takeover of rival BG Group earlier this year.

The cost-cutting drive will trigger the closure of the former BG Group headquarters in Reading and company offices in Aberdeen and Manchester.

The 1,600 staff employed at the sites who do not want to relocate will be offered voluntary redundancy.  

The firm warned last year that the impact of its mega-merger with BG Group would hit workers hard. 

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Is this the city car of the future? Shell reveals bizarre bug eyed vehicle with a flip up front

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Screen Shot 2016-04-23 at 07.27.30Shell’s city concept car uses a third less energy compared to the average car, as it gets 107 miles per gallon and is only 1.5m high, 2.5m long and 1.3m wide – making parking in the city a breeze. One unique feature to this futuristic car is that there are now doors that open out, in order for riders to get inside they have to pull the top up and climb in

By STACY LIBERATORE FOR DAILYMAIL.COM: 23 April 2016

In about 50 years, three-quarters of the world is expected to live in cities, while the number of cars on the road will double.

While most manufacturers are developing electric solutions, unsurprisingly Shell has designed a vehicle that they say ‘is intended to inspire thinking about maximizing personal mobility, while minimizing energy use’.

Shell’s city concept car uses a third less energy compared to the average, as it gets 107 miles per gallon and is only 1.5m high, 2.5m long and 1.3m wide – making parking in the city a breeze.

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Botched Doha deal undermines OPEC credibility, oil prices tumble

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By REUTERSPUBLISHED: 18 April 2016

By Henning Gloystein

SINGAPORE, April 18 (Reuters) – Oil prices tumbled on Monday after a meeting by major exporters in Qatar collapsed without an agreement to freeze output, leaving the credibility of the OPEC producer cartel in tatters and the world awash with unwanted fuel.

Tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran were blamed for the failure, which revived industry fears that major government-controlled producers will increase their battle for market share by offering ever-steeper discounts.

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Shell and Scottish Power guilty of energy fraud and market manipulation in the US

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By Alex Brummer For Daily Mail, In San Francisco

Shell and Iberdrola-owned Scottish Power have been found guilty of fraud and market manipulation which led to power blackouts in the San Francisco bay area.

The finding by a Federal Energy Regulation Commission (FERC) judge alleges that Shell and Iberdrola made £809million of illegal profits which may now have to be repaid to the citizens of California.

Evidence presented during the hearings says that energy traders at Shell and Iberdrola used similar tactics to the collapsed energy firm Enron to drive up the prices which Californian residents had to pay on their long-term contracts.

As a result Shell received £548million in excessive profits and Iberdrola £261million. At the time Scottish Power, which has previously won Money Mail’s Wooden Spoon Award for poor customer service, was a quoted UK company and owner of PPM Energy in California.

It was heavy losses in the US which weakened the Scottish firm and led to it being sold to the Spanish power giant Iberdrola in 2007.

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Shell dragged into Nigeria oil corruption probe

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“We can confirm that representatives of the Dutch Financial Intelligence and Investigation Service (FIOD) and the Dutch Public Prosecutor recently visited Shell at its headquarters in The Hague,” a spokesman said.

“The visit was related to OPL 245, an offshore block in Nigeria that was the subject of a series of long-standing disputes with the Federal Government of Nigeria. Shell is cooperating with the authorities and is looking into the allegations, which it takes seriously.”

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Shell plans North Sea sell-off as falling crude price makes many of its sites less profitable

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By CITY & FINANCE REPORTER FOR THE DAILY MAIL: PUBLISHED: 27 March 2016

Shell has hired advisers to sell some of its North Sea oil operations as the falling price of crude makes sites less profitable.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Lazard and Morgan Stanley have held talks with a number of suitors, including Neptune Oil and Gas, the investment firm set up by former Centrica boss Sam Laidlaw.

The oil industry has been scaling back investments in the North Sea because of the tumbling price of crude. Shell has said it would make disposals worth £21billion.

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Worst of oil rout ‘is over’, say analysts (as Shell begins £20bn asset sale)

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By CITY & FINANCE REPORTER FOR THE DAILY MAIL: 12 MARCH 2016

Oil analysts say the price of a barrel may have bottomed out – just as Shell started a £20billion assets sale.

The International Energy Agency said a slowdown in oil production could mean the worst of the rout in oil prices is over. In January prices plummeted to 12-year lows, falling below $27-per-barrel.

But in recent weeks there has been a modest recovery, with oil rising to $40 per barrel, and the IEA said this could be the light at the end of the tunnel.

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Shell faces fresh Nigeria pollution claims in London

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By FP: PUBLISHED: 3:55, 2 March 2016

Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell came under renewed scrutiny on Wednesday over its environmental record in Nigeria after lawyers brought fresh claims of damage caused by spills to a London court.

British legal firm Leigh Day has filed two cases at the High Court in a bid to force the Anglo-Dutch energy major to clean up damage caused in the communities of Ogale and Bille in the Niger Delta, Nigeria’s main oil-producing region, and provide compensation.

In Bille, the lawyers hope to prove that Shell is liable for failing to protect its pipelines from damage caused by third parties, which, they said, could mark a “significant expansion” in the firm’s liability.

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Shell’s credit rating cut from AA to AA- following £36bn takeover of gas giant BG Group

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By RUPERT STEINER FOR THE DAILY MAIL19 February 2016

Royal Dutch Shell has seen its credit rating slashed following its £36billion takeover of gas giant BG Group.

The credit score of the FTSE 100 oil company – a barometer of its financial strength – was lowered by Fitch from AA to AA-.

Ratings agency Fitch said its outlook on Shell was ‘negative’ in a sign a further cut could follow.

Shell used some of its cash reserves to fund the takeover of BG. Following the completion of the mega-deal on Monday, Shell plans to sell £20billion of assets in the next three years.

However, Fitch warned it downgraded its view on the company because Shell (down 26.5p to 1560.5p) had ‘materially missed the targeted level’ of sell-offs so far. 

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It’s goodbye to BG group: Gas giant shuts its doors and ceases to exist after Shell takeover

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It was the end of an era for staff at Thames Valley Park HQ in Reading yesterday as gas giant BG Group ceased to exist

By Monday, BG will be part of Anglo-Dutch giant Royal Dutch Shell after a £35billion takeover.

The new group is now the world’s biggest trader of liquefied natural gas.

BG Group came into being in 1997 when it was demerged from British Gas.

BG employed 5,000 people from 70 countries. 

During its existence it said that its geologists and geophysicists had helped find 17 giant hydrocarbon discoveries – each with recoverable resources of more than 500million barrels of oil equivalent or 3 trillion cubic feet of gas.

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Pension funds at risk as BP and Shell’s near £10bn profits slump sparks dividend payouts fears

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By JON REES FOR THE MAIL ON SUNDAY31 January 2016

Britain’s biggest oil groups will this week report a near £10billion slump in profits as the calamitous effect of the low oil price takes its toll on the blue chip giants.

Both BP and Shell are expected to see their full-year profits for 2015 slashed by about 40 per cent leading to fears that they will struggle to maintain their dividend payouts to shareholders.

BP is predicted to report profit for the year of $6.8billion (£4.8billion) down from $12.1billion previously, while Shell is set to report profit down to $10.7billion (£7.5billion) from $19billion.

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Final approval for Shell mega-merger as BG Group shareholders vote in favour of the £36bn deal

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By LAURA CHESTERS FOR THE DAILY MAIL: 29 JAN 2016

One of the largest takeovers in history finally got the go-ahead yesterday after BG Group shareholders followed those at Royal Dutch Shell in approving the £36billion deal.

At a meeting in London, 99.53 per cent of BG shareholders voted in favour, a day after 83 per cent of Shell investors approved the deal that was first announced last April.

Shell chief executive Ben van Beurden said: ‘BG adds attractive deep water and integrated gas positions and will act as a catalyst for accelerating the reshaping of our business. 

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Shell gets green light for merger with BG Group to create world’s biggest liquefied gas trader

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By LAURA CHESTERS FOR DAILY MAIL: 28 JAN 2016

Royal Dutch Shell’s mega-merger with gas giant BG Group looked set to be approved yesterday, creating the world’s biggest liquefied gas trader and boosting bankers’ bonuses.

The £35billion deal got the go-ahead from Shell investors yesterday with 83 per cent of those voting backing the deal.

Today BG group will announce the result of its shareholder vote. For the deal to go ahead more than 75 per cent must approve it.

The completion of the deal – expected next month – will see a windfall of £106million of fees for various advisors on the deal including £76million to be shared by top investment banks including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs and Rothschild.

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Oil price falls again as Shell shareholders prepare to vote on mega-merger with BG Group

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The price tumbled as much as 3 per cent during trading yesterday when it emerged Iraq had produced a record high of oil and may even raise output further.

The news comes as the market is already braced for more supply from Iran after sanctions were lifted. 

Tankers have begun to leave Iran’s ports and it agreed its first deal with a European company last week with Greece’s refinery Hellenic Petroleum. 

Some analysts expect Iran to increase production to between 3million and 4million barrels a day. Iraq’s fields produced more than 4.1million barrels a day.

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BG investors should approve the Shell takeover even as the oil price languishes

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By Joanne Hart for The Mail on Sunday: 24 JAN 2016

It is crunch time for investors in BG Group. Last April, it unveiled a recommended £47billion takeover by Royal Dutch Shell. This week, more than nine months later, both firms are asking shareholders to approve the deal.

It has been an eventful gestation period. The oil price has virtually halved and Shell shares have moved in tandem, sliding from 2208p to 1388p.

The slump is important because the Shell offer is a mix of cash and stock – 383p in cash and 0.4454 Shell B shares for every BG share.

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Hedge funds bet that shares in Shell and Sainsbury’s will fall further as both firms suffer disastrous starts to 2016

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By City & Finance Reporter for the Daily Mail: 22 JAN 2016

Hedge funds are taking bets that shares in Royal Dutch Shell and Sainsbury’s will fall further.

Shell, which is down nearly 15 per cent so far this year and is hoping to buy gas giant BG Group in a £36billion deal next month, has around 5 per cent of its shares out on loan.

Investors are ‘shorting’ its shares – borrowing shares and selling them with a view to buying them back at a lower price in future.

According to financial research firm Markit, £2.6billion of short positions have been registered in Shell, which means short interest now stands at a record high for the energy firm.

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Shell reveals that profits have nearly halved but receives major backing for its deal with BG Group

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Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 11.26.34By LAURA CHESTERS FOR THE DAILY MAIL: 21 JAN 2016

Royal Dutch Shell revealed quarterly profits had nearly halved yesterday but received major backing for its deal with BG Group.

Shell said its fourth-quarter profit will be down by around 40 per cent to between £1.1bn and £1.3bn and its full- year earnings could drop to as low as £7.3bn for 2015 – well below the near £16bn it reported in 2014.

As markets plunged across the globe Shell’s shares plummeted 5.5 per cent or 74.5p to 1294.95p yesterday and BG’s fell nearly 3 per cent or 42.3p to 897p. Despite the chaos and the collapse in the oil price, Shell’s chief executive Ben van Beurden is proceeding with the proposed takeover.

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Shell dividend could be under threat over audacious takeover of gas specialist BG Group

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By LAURA CHESTERS FOR THE DAILY MAIL: 16 JAN 2016

The last time Royal Dutch Shell cut its dividend was in 1945 when the Netherlands had just endured the ‘Hunger winter’ under Nazi occupation before the end of the Second World War.

Now investors are worrying their treasured dividend could be under threat again.

Shell is embarking on an audacious takeover of gas specialist BG Group. The £36bn deal will go to a shareholder vote at the end of the month. However, with the oil price at a 12-year low, many are warning the deal does not make sense.

And worse still, some are fearful that if it does go ahead it will mean Shell won’t be able to afford to keep paying its healthy dividend.

Shell pays the best dividend in the FTSE 100 and yields around 7.2 per cent on the current promised $1.88-a-share dividend. As Steve Clayton, head of equities research at broker Hargreaves Lansdown, explains: ‘Half of Holland would keel over in apoplectic horror if Shell ever cut the payout.’

A handful of institutional investors have already pronounced their views on the deal.

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A £36bn deal of a lifetime: Shell boss vows to protect dividends as he defends merger with BG Group 

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Screen Shot 2016-01-14 at 23.40.15By ALEX BRUMMER FOR THE DAILY MAIL: 15 JAN 2016

The stone-faced Shell building overlooking the Thames at dawn is the grand dame of the London skyline predating the towers of Canary Wharf and the London Eye.

It is from here, in a relatively modest, plainly decorated 24th floor office, with almost no personal touches, that Ben van Beurden, a Shell man for 33 years, is engaged in the boldest move of his career.

‘I’ll be very honest with you,’ he confesses to the Mail in his first major interview since the transforming bid for BG International, formerly the exploration arm of British Gas, was unveiled last April. 

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Shell’s key shareholder advisory group gives support for BG Group bid as oil giant predicts oil price will double

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By EMILY DAVIES FOR DAILY MAIL: 11 January 2016

Shell’s mega bid for rival BG Group has received crucial backing in the US as the oil giant’s boss predicts the price of oil could double.

Glass Lewis, which gives guidance to US investors, has said it supports the £36billion offer that Royal Dutch Shell made in April last year.

Shell chief executive Ben van Beurden has shunned suggestions the deal is unwise due to sinking oil prices, currently around $33 per barrel, and has predicted prices will double.

He said: ‘The oil prices we are seeing today are not sustainable and are going to settle at higher levels over the next few decades than the low $60s that we require to make this deal a good deal.’

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Shell upbeat on BG buyout even as oil price falls as shareholder advisory group Glass Lewis is said to be in favour of the deal

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But some investors are concerned over the plunging oil price and late last week Standard Life Investments said it would be voting against the deal.

By JON REES, FINANCIAL MAIL ON SUNDAY: 10 JAN 2016

Shell’s £36billion offer for rival BG Group has received a boost after shareholder advisory group Glass Lewis is understood to have come out in favour ahead of the investors’ vote later this month.

Glass Lewis is the leading adviser for US shareholders and nearly a third of Shell’s investors and a quarter of BG’s are US-based. The deal has also won the backing of the other leading shareholder advisory group ISS last week. 

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Royal Dutch Shell receives backing from influential shareholder group for £36bn BG deal

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By City & Finance Reporter for the Daily Mail: 8 JAN 2016

An influential shareholder group is expected to support oil giant Royal Dutch Shell’s £36billion bid for gas specialist BG Group.

Shell needs more than 50 per cent of its investors and 75 per cent of BG’s to give the thumbs up for the deal to go ahead, but the collapse in the price of oil – down more than 70 per cent since summer 2014 – has made the deal difficult.

Shareholders are due to cast their vote on January 27 and 28.

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ALEX BRUMMER: Oil pressure surges at Shell as it determinedly presses ahead with its bid for BG Group

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By ALEX BRUMMER FOR THE DAILY MAIL: 7 JAN 2016

The price of Brent crude oil continues its relentless slide on global markets and is now at its lowest level for 12-years, and there is no reason at all to think that it has hit rock bottom.

This has serious implications for Shell as it determinedly presses ahead with its bid for BG Group, formerly the exploration arm of the ‘old’ British Gas.

With each fall in the oil price the value of Shell shares, down 2 per cent in latest trading, takes a hit and the shape of the offer for BG changes. When Shell set out to buy BG in April the oil price was $67-a-barrel and it is now near enough half that.

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Shell’s finance chief tries to persuade investors into £36bn BG merger deal despite oil prices plunge

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By LAURA CHESTERS FOR THE DAILY MAIL: 5 JAN 2016

Royal Dutch Shell’s finance boss Simon Henry has just returned from the ski slopes. The first week back after New Year is usually slow as people readjust to the office.

But for Henry and chief executive Ben van Beurden there is no time to waste. The pair are straight into endless rounds of shareholder meetings.

They are trying to convince investors to agree to Anglo-Dutch giant Shell swallowing BG Group in a £36billion deal.

The deadline is the two big shareholder meetings set for January 27 and 28 when investors vote, and it needs 50 per cent of its shareholders to approve the mega-deal. 

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Shell warns that oil could hit $20 a barrel – but defends £36bn takeover of BG as a long-term deal over 15-year period

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By LAURA CHESTERS FOR THE DAILY MAIL: 5 JAN 2016

The finance boss of Shell has warned the price of oil could fall to $20 a barrel within weeks but has defended its £36billion takeover of BG Group as a long-term deal.

Simon Henry said Goldman Sachs’ prediction that Brent crude oil could fall to $20 a barrel ‘may actually happen in the next few weeks’ but argued the mega-deal is sound on a long-term basis over a 15-year period.

Oil fluctuated around $37 a barrel yesterday after traders acknowledged the panic in the Chinese stock markets and the growing dispute between Saudi Arabia and Iran, the biggest rivals in the Opec oil cartel.

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ALEX BRUMMER: Shell-BG deal no longer makes economic or industrial sense and should be rejected by long term investors

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ALEX BRUMMER FOR THE DAILY MAIL26 December 2015 

Unlike the Kraft Cadbury takeover in 2010-11, which stretched over the Christmas holiday, the Shell bid for BG is unlikely to have families choking on their ‘Fruit & Nut’ bars.

Indeed, many people won’t even have a clue as to what BG Group – once the exploration arm of British Gas – actually does.

The only time the confusingly named group attracted public attention in recent times was when in late 2014 its board, out of touch with the public mood, proposed to hand new chief executive Helge Lund a £25million pay packet.

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