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Shell defies doubters by predicting boom for liquefied natural gas

The Telegraph: Shell defies doubters by predicting boom for liquefied natural gas

Jillian Ambrose20 FEBRUARY 2017 

Royal Dutch Shell has brushed off concern that the burgeoning market for liquefied natural gas is already oversupplied, after paying £36.5bn to buy market leader BG Group.

Shell’s first outlook report for LNG since the tie-up has predicted a market boom as demand from countries including China and India which will outpace the string of new project start-ups.

The market for LNG imports has already grown considerably in recent years but market commentators have raised fears that an explosion of new projects might flood the market. A deluge of LNG could push down prices just as Shell works to pay down the heavy cost of the tie-up.

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Shell’s Brent plans to spark North Sea jobs boost

The Telegraph: Shell’s Brent plans to spark North Sea jobs boost

Jillian Ambrose

Royal Dutch Shell is to recommit itself to the North Sea as it prepares to dismantle the colossal oil rigs in the historic Brent oilfield, heralding hopes of hundreds of decommissioning jobs.

The oil major will today submit its decommissioning plans to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – including a controversial plan to leave the base of the four giant structures in the sea bed – ending a decade-long project on how to safely retire the ageing field.

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Shell bounces back as oil price enjoys a slick resurgence

Shell bounces back as oil price enjoys a slick resurgence

Jillian Ambrose28 JANUARY 2017 • 7:00PM

Royal Dutch Shell is poised to lead a comeback this week as it reveals annual profits have more than doubled on the back of the recovering oil price.

The Anglo-Dutch oil giant is expected to post bumper profits of $8.17bn (£6.91bn), a huge jump on the $3.8bn it reported at the depths of the market downturn.

Alongside the profit boom, Shell is expected to announce the $3bn sale of its North Sea oil and gas assets to a private-equity-backed explorer.

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‘It’s payback time,’ says Nigerian king suing Shell

James Rothwell25 JANUARY 2017 

Nigerian tribal king has accused oil giant Shell of pocketing “blood money” after leaking pipelines allegedly polluted his community’s drinking water with deadly diseases.

Emere Godwin Bebe Okpabi, who is the leader of Nigeria’s Ogale people, has taken the Royal Dutch Shell company to the High Court in London as he says they are responsible for the “devastating” pollution.

The court will rule on whether the case is under the UK’s jurisdiction on Wednesday. 

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Shell’s North Sea deal expected within weeks ahead of M&A boom

Jillian Ambrose22 JANUARY 2017 • 8:00PM

Shell’s plans to sell off UK oil assets are expected to move ahead within weeks ahead of an M&A boom for the North Sea.

City sources have said that private-equity backed investment funds are expected to close in on asset sales from supermajor Shell as well as French energy giant Engie amid rising investor confidence in the oil market recovery.

In the wake of the oil price crash early last year industry experts predicted that cash strapped oil companies would streamline their portfolios by selling off assets to bargain hungry funds, but deals have been slow to emerge due to market volatility.

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Hope on horizon for Nigeria’s oil-troubled waters

Emily Gosden, energy editor

8 JANUARY 2017 • 10:23PM

In January 2015, Royal Dutch Shell agreed to pay £55m in compensation to thousands of residents of Bodo, a fishing community in the Niger Delta. Their livelihoods had been devastated by two oil spills in 2008-09 that had been caused by corroded Shell pipelines.

After years of high-profile wrangling, the landmark settlement was supposed to draw a line under one of the most toxic reputational issues for the Anglo-Dutch energy giant, and pave the way for the oil blighting the village to finally be cleaned up.

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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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Shell vs BP: which oil giant should you buy?

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By James Connington14 NOVEMBER 2016 

In the hunt for income‑producing stocks, BP and Royal Dutch Shell are two obvious candidates.

Both have so far kept dividend promises made before the oil price crash, leading to hefty yields: 7pc for BP and 6.7pc at Shell. But which firm is better placed to sustain such attractive dividends?

At first glance, it can look like splitting hairs. Each is prioritising dividend payments, although there is little chance of dividend growth.

Both have taken significant action to cut costs and sell assets in response to the lower oil price.

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Oil chiefs under fire over ‘pathetic’ new climate investment fund

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Emily Gosden, energy editor: 4 NOVEMBER 2016 • 7:53PM

Oil giants including BP and Shell have been pilloried by climate campaigners after disclosing their annual contributions to a much-hyped new green investment fund would be less than BP chief Bob Dudley earned last year.

Mr Dudley and Royal Dutch Shell chief executive Ben van Beurden were among industry heavyweights who appeared at an event in London to announce plans by the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) to invest $1bn in “innovative low emissions technologies” over the next ten years.

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Confidence in enlarged Shell-BG entity

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The week ahead in business and finance

By Tara Cunningham, business reporter: 30 OCTOBER 2016 • 11:41PM

Third Quarter Results: Tuesday, November 1

Confidence in enlarged Shell-BG entity was rattled after a very disappointing set of second quarter results, when it missed consensus forecasts by 52pc. Ahead of Tuesday’s interim results, analysts at UBS warned: “We don’t think it is reasonable to expect a significant uptick in earnings”.

Even though Royal Dutch Shell has a track-record of “volatile” quarters across the year, the bank highlighted that management have already been “quite explicit” in indicating that 2016 is likely to be “quite messy”.

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‘We sold Shell as its dividend looks shaky’

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Shell’s acquisition of rival company BG is likely to hurt its finances, making its dividend look more uncertainCREDIT: ARND WIEGMANN

By Laura Suter28 OCTOBER 2016 • 8:59AM

Tom Walker, manager of the Martin Currie Global Portfolio, has 59pc of his fund’s assets in American companies. While he is concerned about the outcome of the election, he does not think a Trump win will necessarily be terrible for the American economy or for the companies he invests in.

Mr Walker, who has run the fund since its launch, tells Telegraph Money why he recently invested in one giant Chinese firm and why he cut Royal Dutch Shell from the portfolio.

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It’s boring, but Shell’s fat yield will reward patience

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Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 22.18.50There are clear risks: history suggests the Opec deal to cut oil production and support prices won’t stick; the company still has to prove it can make its huge BG acquisition work; and the dividend is not covered by earnings for this year and barely covered for next.

4 OCTOBER 2016 • 8:28AM

Royal Dutch Shell

This tip won’t win many prizes for originality but patient, longterm income seekers may find it hard to overlook the prospect of a soundly financed company that offers a 7pc dividend yield while interest rates and yields on the safest bonds remain at rock bottom.

There are clear risks: history suggests the Opec deal to cut oil production and support prices won’t stick; the company still has to prove it can make its huge BG acquisition work; and the dividend is not covered by earnings for this year and barely covered for next.

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Shell’s North Sea exit could generate $1bn, says UBS

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Jillian Ambrose7 SEPTEMBER 2016 • 1:27PM

Shell could be in line to make $1bn (£750m) in the next two years by selling off North Sea assets as part of a $30bn divestment drive, according to UBS.

The bank predicts that Shell’s North Sea retreat will begin with a “tidying up” of the oil major’s high-cost, legacy assets but that a sale of its attractive core projects could not be ruled out.

UBS oil analyst Jon Rigby said that sales of the oil giant’s older North Sea assets would only generate “a few hundred million dollars” unless the company opts for a more “radical” approach including ditching stakes in the core projects that make up its $7bn North Sea portfolio.

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Holy Grail of energy policy in sight as battery technology smashes the old order

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AMBROSE EVANS-PRITCHARD10 AUGUST 2016 

The world’s next energy revolution is probably no more than five or ten years away. Cutting-edge research into cheap and clean forms of electricity storage is moving so fast that we may never again need to build 20th Century power plants in this country, let alone a nuclear white elephant such as Hinkley Point.

The US Energy Department is funding 75 projects developing electricity storage, mobilizing teams of scientists at Harvard, MIT, Stanford, and the elite Lawrence Livermore and Oak Ridge labs in a bid for what it calls the ‘Holy Grail’ of energy policy.

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Hundreds of North Sea workers down tools on Shell oil rigs

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Screen Shot 2016-07-26 at 16.45.26Jillian Ambrose26 JULY 2016 • 1:26PM

Around 400 North Sea oil workers have downed tools on Shell oil rigs in the sector’s first spate of industrial action in 28 years.

The 24-hour strike began at 6.30am on Tuesday alongside an ongoing refusal to work overtime and will be followed by further stoppages in the weeks to come, trade union Unite warned.

Offshore oil workers employed by Wood Group to work on Shell’s giant Brent oilfield platforms voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action earlier this month, after talks over plans to bring in longer hours and lower pay broke down.

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Shell braces for North Sea strike action

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Jillian Ambrose: 11 JULY 2016

Shell is bracing itself for major strike action on its North Sea platforms after talks between workers and oilfield services company Wood Group broke down ahead of a union ballot.

Wood Group’s oil workers will vote on whether to take action over tougher offshore working schedules and lower pay, in what could be the first wave of strikes for the North Sea in a generation.

Trade unions Unite and RMT are balloting 200 of around 450 oil workers working across Shell’s platforms in the Brent oilfield, and on Wednesday will decide whether almost half the workforce will down tools.

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Shell Warns Of Further Job Cuts

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Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 18.15.43By Irina Slav – Jul 05, 2016, 9:02 AM CDT

Shell may have to cut more jobs after laying off 12,500 people over the past year, CEO Ben van Beurden told The Telegraph. The new cuts would be prompted by a “continuous improvement drive,” he added.

Elaborating on what this drive would imply, Van Beurden noted jobs are becoming unnecessary as business operations get shut down, or positions being moved to another part of the world, or becoming redundant because of the drive for enhanced business efficiency.

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Shell chief Ben van Beurden: ‘You cannot expect us to act against our economic interest’

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By Emily Gosden, energy editor: 2 JULY 2016 • 2:30PM

On the last Thursday in January, the day Royal Dutch Shell’s £35bn takeover of BG Group got the final seal of approval from BG shareholders, Ben van Beurden was not planning a celebration.

Shell’s chief executive was instead preparing to get on with the detailed work of integrating the two companies: some 200 senior staff from Shell and BG had been assembled in The Hague, ready to spend Friday and the weekend working out what would happen when one of the biggest deals in history finally completed.

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Shell urges continued free trade and free movement of people post-Brexit

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Emily Gosden, energy editor: 30 JUNE 2016 • 7:02PM

Royal Dutch Shell has urged the UK to retain free trade and free movement of people with the EU in the wake of Brexit.

Ben van Beurden, the oil giant’s chief executive, said it was not yet clear how Shell would be affected by Britain leaving the EU and he was concerned by the prospect of a period of change and uncertainty. 

“It’s crucial that European governments will keep now a steady hand on the tiller of the economy in what will be probably unprecedented, unpredictable circumstances for some time to come,” he said.

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What the future of the petrol station looks like, from renewable energies to driverless cars

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Lauren Davidson12 JUNE 2016 • 11:44PM

It’s a wonder Istvan Kapitany, executive vice-president of retail at Royal Dutch Shell, gets any work done. The view from his office on the 22nd floor of Shell’s headquarters on the South Bank looks out over some of the most impressive landmarks in the capital, including the London Eye and the Palace of Westminster.

Though not at the top level just yet – the Shell Centre has 26 floors – Kapitany has certainly climbed his way through the ranks since joining Shell in 1987 as a petrol station manager in Hungary, his home country.

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Shell set to retreat from North Sea in global asset shakeup

Screen Shot 2016-06-11 at 22.39.18The company has already cut hundreds of jobs from its UK workforce. In the clearest sign yet that Britain’s biggest company will turn its back on the “super mature” North Sea, Shell told investors its planned $30bn sales drive to tackle its debt burden will focus on mature assets in established oil regions.

Shell’s chief executive, Ben Van Beurden, laid out the company’s strategic plan for the rest of the decade, telling shareholders the group plans to leave between five and 10 mature oil regions, which equity analysts have interpreted as a “heavy hint” that UK assets will be included.

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Waiting for Big Oil to clean up its act

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Screen Shot 2016-06-11 at 22.29.07By Jillian Ambrose

11 JUNE 2016 • 7:22PM

“The world is going to have to continue using fossil fuels, whether they like it or not.” There’s little disguising the defiance in the words of Exxonmobil chief Rex Tillerson.

In a Dallas concert hall, less than six months after the historic global climate deal in Paris, the long-standing leader of the world’s largest listed oil company locked horns with shareholders in an increasingly familiar battle for Big Oil.

For years, placard-wielding green activists have raised warnings that echo the financial collapse: a “carbon bubble” could leave markets reeling as trillions of dollars’ worth of existing fossil fuel assets become worthless in a low-carbon world.

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Companies charged with workplace breaches following Corrib gas death

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Edwin McGreal: Belmullet: 08 JUNE 2016

Two companies have been sent forward to the Circuit Criminal Court in Castlebar on charges following a workplace accident which resulted in the death of a man working on the Corrib gas tunnel in 2013.

Twenty-six year old Lars Wagner was killed, in September 2013, while he was working on the construction of a tunnel for the Corrib gas project.

Mr Wagner, a German native, was working on boring a tunnel to carry the project’s gas pipeline under Sruwaddacon Bay to the Corrib gas refinery at Bellenaboy.

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Shell caps spending for rest of the decade as belt tightening continues

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By Jon Yeomans7 JUNE 2016 • 9:33AM

Oil giant Shell is targeting yet more cost savings as it looks to pay down debt and protect its dividend in an era of lower oil prices.

The Anglo Dutch giant said today capital spending would be in the range of $25-$30bn a year to 2020. For 2016 it will be $29bn, down from a forecast “trending toward” $30bn, which was itself down from an earlier projection of $33bn.

The company said this spending could go even lower if oil prices sink below their current levels, but crucially would not go higher if oil surges. Crude has stabilised at around $50 a barrel, after hitting a 12-year low of $28 a barrel in January. It was trading at more than $100 two years ago. 

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Shell boss Ben Van Beurden spared shareholder pay revolt

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Jillian Ambrose24 MAY 2016 • 3:17PM

Shell shareholders have approved plans to pay boss Ben Van Beurden £4.3m despite calls from top proxy advisors to vote against his bonus ahead of the oil major’s AGM.

Investors voted 85.83pc in favour of the payout at the meeting in The Hague today.

Mr Van Beurden’s pay packet includes a salary of £1.4m, a bonus of £3.5m, and a pension of £441,000 for 2015, despite Shell reporting its steepest losses in 13 years and a planned job cull of 10,000. He has also received shares worth £9.7m, which vest in three years if he meets key performance targets.

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Shell braced for shareholder pay revolt

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Jillian Ambrose21 MAY 2016 • 7:47PM

Shell executives are braced for a shareholder backlash this week after influential retail advisor ShareSoc joined the growing rebellion against its multi-million pound executive pay.

The UK’s largest individual investor group will urge its 4,000 members to follow the lead of major Shell investor Royal London Asset Management and proxy institutional advisors in opposing Shell’s rising pay packet for boss Ben Van Beurden.

Mr Van Beurden is in line for a salary of £1.4m, a bonus of £3.5m, and a pension of £441,000 for 2015, despite reporting its steepest losses in 13 years and a planned job cull of 10,000. He has also received shares worth £9.7m, which vest in three years if he meets key performance targets.

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Shell eyes $40bn non-core asset spin-off to cut its huge debt pile

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By Tara Cunningham, business reporter: 14 MAY 2016

Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell is eyeing a possible $40bn spin-off of non-core assets around the globe as it grapples with a $70bn debt pile following a takeover of BG Group earlier this year. 

Chief financial officer Simon Henry told analysts last week that a float of Shell’s non-core assets is “very much on the agenda”.  

The comments were made after the Anglo-Dutch multinational announced its intention to sell off assets totalling $30bn over the next three years in an attempt to protect its dividend, after the merger with BG left it with a stretched balance sheet.

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Top Shell investor vents anger at boss pay

Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 11.33.40“The peer group of four companies that Shell uses to benchmark its long-term incentive plans (L-tips) is too narrow and we remain concerned about the overly generous senior management pension plans.”

However, Royal London, which owns nearly £1bn of shares in Shell, said it acknowledged that the company had notched up several successes, including the completion of its £35bn takeover of BG.

Mr van Beurden stands to take home a salary of £1.4m, bonus of £3.5m, and pension of £441,000 for 2015. He also received shares worth £9.7m, which vest in three years if he hits a series of targets.

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Shell profits tumble following BG merger

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By Jillian Ambrose4 MAY 2016 • 8:32AM

Shell posted a sharp fall in profits in its first set of results since merging with global gas giant BG Group, but nevertheless beat expectations against a backdrop of low oil prices.

The oil major reported first quarter profit of $455m, less than half the $942m posted in its results for the last three months of 2015 and a fraction of its $4.5bn for the same period last year.

On a cost of supplies basis, which the oil industry uses to account for fluctuations in the price of oil, Shell made $1.6bn over the first quarter of the year. This was better than analyst expectations of just over $1bn but still well below the $3.7bn in the first quarter of 2015.

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North Sea worker strikes loom as contracts tighten

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Jillian Ambrose: 1 MAY 2016

The North Sea sector could face the first wave of workers strikes in a generation as union tensions rise in response to longer hours and lower pay for the embattled workforce.

This weekend members of Unite are weighing up whether to accept tougher contract terms from Wood Group, one of the North Sea’s largest oilfield services firms, after the group met with unions on Friday.

A strike across Wood Group’s workforce could impact projects across the North Sea including decommissioning work on the giant Brent oilfield operated by oil giant Shell, where workers have already threatened to down tools over Wood Group’s plans for tougher contracts.

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Former Centrica boss in talks to buy Shell oil assets

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By Jillian Ambrose, business reporter: 27 MARCH 2016

A $5bn investment fund, led by former Centrica boss Sam Laidlaw, is in talks to snap up assets from Shell’s $30bn oil and gas divestment drive.

Neptune Oil and Gas was launched last summer to hunt for oil and gas bargains, and has confirmed that it is in talks with Bank of America Merrill Lynch to take advantage of Shell’s ambitious sales plans.

A spokesman for the fund said that Shell’s assets are being considered as part of its wider strategy to target large-scale investment in distressed assets in the North Sea, North Africa and South East Asia.

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Shell faces $30bn battle to sell assets after BG takeover

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Shell completes its much-anticipated takeover of BG Group on Monday, facing a fresh battle to dispose of $30bn of assets in the next three years as the oil market downturn drags on.

The £35bn mega merger was proposed before the full brunt of the oil market’s 70pc collapse slashed value across the sector, and Shell is under pressure to push through the disposals to maintain shareholder dividends even as profits plummet.

Shell’s reported its sharpest decline in income in 13 years for 2015 as sales collapsed by 97pc to cut profits by 56pc compared to the year before.

But with the oil rout wiping value from across the embattled oil and gas sector analysts say Shell will struggle to spin-off assets at the price it once expected to.

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Oil market spiral threatens to prick global debt bubble, warns BIS

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By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard6:33PM GMT 05 Feb 2016

The global oil industry is caught in a self-feeding downward spiral as falling prices cause producers to boost output even further in a scramble to service $3 trillion of dollar debt, the world’s top watchdog has warned.

The Bank for International Settlements fears that a perverse dynamic is at work where energy companies in Brazil, Russia, China and parts of the US shale belt are increasing production in defiance of normal market logic, leading to a bad “feedback-loop” that is sucking the whole sector into a destructive vortex.

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BG Group posts profit ahead of Shell takeover

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By Tara Cunningham, Business Reporter: 9:16AM GMT 05 Feb 2016

In its final results ahead of its landmark merger with Shell, BG Group has reported a pre-tax profit of $2.98bn, compared with a $2.3bn loss the previous year.

FTSE 100-listed BG is due to be absorbed into the Anglo-Dutch giant by the middle of the month after its shareholders voted overwhelmingly in favour of a £40bn takeover.

Screen Shot 2016-02-05 at 11.21.44In its last year as standalone company, BG managed to limit the impact from plunging oil prices to a 16pc drop in revenue for the year, racking up sales of $16.2bn.

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Shell backs out of Malaysian refinery business

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By Jillian AmbroseFeb 2016

Royal Dutch Shell will sell a majority stake in its Malaysian refining business as part of a strategy overhaul to combat plummeting profits.

The Anglo-Dutch firm said it has agreed to sell a 51pc stake in the business for $66.3m to engineering group Malaysian Hengyuan International.

The latest retreat comes alongside plans to sell its marketing business in Denmark and Norway, its LPG businesses in France and a 33.24pc stake in Showa Shell Sekiyu KK.

Shell’s latest financial report due out on Thursday is expected to make clear the heavy toll the ongoing oil price rout has taken on the firm, with full-year profits expected to be 48pc lower than the year before.

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Shell shares won’t run better just because BG’s been added to the tank

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Screen Shot 2016-01-31 at 08.30.26Shell shares won’t run better just because BG’s been added to the tank

By Ian McVeigh: 31 Jan 2016

Screen Shot 2016-01-31 at 08.31.55Shell’s bid for BG received an 83pc vote in favour from its shareholders.

For some time it has been apparent that Shell was irrevocably set on this course in spite of the collapse of the oil price. The image of a supertanker unable to stop inevitably springs to mind. I am sure BG shareholders can’t believe their luck. Their shares would be around half the current level without Shell’s bid.

For the fund management industry the vote in favour is hardly likely to go down as one of its finest moments, though a 17pc “no” vote is relatively large in such circumstances.

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Final green light for Shell-BG takeover

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By Jillian Ambrose: 2:19PM GMT 28 Jan 2016

BG Group shareholders have voted through Shell’s £40bn takeover bid by an overwhelming majority.

The widely expected final nod for the landmark energy merger was voted through with 99.55pc of BG investors in favour, ending a controversial nine month campaign by Shell to cement its new strategic direction.

The tie-up received an 83pc approval vote from Shell shareholders on Wednesday, despite early fears that the deal was overpriced due to the collapse of oil prices since the bid was made last April.

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Why the Shell-BG mega-deal was risky for the City as well as the oil giants

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By Ashley Armstrong7:17PM GMT 27 Jan 2016

It has taken nearly 10 months, five competition regulators and 40 approvals from other global authorities. But Shell’s chief executive Ben van Beurden’s white-knuckle ride is finally drawing to a close.

On Wedensday, van Beurden won overwhelming support for the £40bn takeover from his shareholders. However, his celebrations may well be drowned out by raucous hedge funds who are cheering what one called “a very profitable trade”.

At Shell’s highly-anticipated shareholder vote in The Hague, the mood was serene, with van Beurden and chairman Charles Holliday warmly greeting shareholders, safe in the knowledge that the level of proxy vote support meant the decision was never in doubt.

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Shell shareholders vote in favour of £40bn BG takeover

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By Jillian Ambrose: 12:35PM GMT 27 Jan 2016

Shell shareholders have given the nod to the £40bn takeover of BG Group by a strong majority.

The 83pc vote in favour of the plans paves the way for the creation of Britain’s largest public company, pending a separate vote by BG shareholders on Thursday which is widely expected back the plans.

The vote, at an extraordinary meeting in the Hague, concludes a nine month gauntlet of global regulatory hurdles, since when plunging oil prices have raised serious concerns that Shell’s offer was overpriced.

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Shell confident of backing for BG takeover as crucial vote looms

Screen Shot 2016-01-23 at 20.43.08By Jillian Ambrose, Ben Martin: 7:00PM GMT 23 Jan 2016

A host of the world’s largest investors are expected to back Shell’s troubled multi-billion pound takeover of BG Group this week.

Shell and BG shareholders will vote on Wednesday and Thursday to approve the deal, which has been called into question by the plunge in the oil price. David Cumming, head of equities at Standard Life Investments, has been the most vocal opponent of the takeover, branding it “value destructive for Shell shareholders”.

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Shell-BG merger gains support ahead of vote

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Shell’s business gamble, supported by oil prices at near record highs, is on the brink of paying off Photo: Newscast

By Jillian Ambrose: 21 Jan 2016

Key investment funds have voiced growing support for the planned £47bn merger of energy giants Shell and BG Group ahead of crucial shareholder votes next week.

Shell’s fifth biggest investor, Norges Bank Investment Management, said on Wednesday that it will vote in favour of the plan at the shareholder meeting on January 27.

The $790bn fund joins a growing group of shareholders in support of the deal, including smaller investment funds and investment advisory firms.

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Shell investors: all they need to know, the crucial documents, and how to vote

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By John Ficenec, Ficenec: 1:26PM GMT 17 Jan 2016

Royal Dutch Shell shareholders have less than two weeks to cast their vote on the proposed takeover of BG Group. We provide all the crucial dates, how to vote, and where the additional information can be found.

How to vote

The most important thing is for retail investors to use their shareholder rights and vote.

Importantly only “Members” of the company who appear on the shareholder register, and personal CREST account holders, have an automatic right to vote. The majority of investors with shares in SIPPs and ISAs will be held through nominee accounts, and as such have no automatic right to vote.

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Oil price crash means petrol could become cheaper than bottled water

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By Mehreen Khan: 14 Jan 2016

Petrol will soon cost less than bottled water as the relentless decline in oil prices sends fuel down to 86p a litre, it has been claimed.

Brent crude fell to below $30 a barrel for the first time since 2004 on Wednesday evening – and has fallen by more 73pc since reaching highs of $115 last summer.

Motoring group RAC said pump prices now could fall back to levels last seen in the aftermath of the financial crisis in 2009, if the commodity plunges to as low as $10, a forecast made by Standard Chartered bank earlier this week.

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Oil could crash to $10 a barrel, warn investment bank bears

Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 08.37.51By Mehreen Khan: Telegraph Newspaper: 13 JAN 2016

Oil prices have crashed to below $30-a-barrel amid warnings the rout could reach as low as $10 and bring down petrol prices to levels last seen in 2009.

Standard Chartered became the latest major bank to downgrade its oil outlook to $10, joining the likes of Goldman Sachs, RBS and Morgan Stanley in making ultra-bearish calls as prices have collapsed by 15pc this year.

Brent crude has now slipped to a fresh 12-year low of $30.41 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate – the US benchmark – is trading at $29.93 – a level last seen in December 2013. Analysts warned the oil market remains fundamentally out of balance as record over-supply and stagnant demand weighs on traders.

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Shell and BG investor who attacked £40bn tie-up will also back deal

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By Andrew Trotman: 12 Jan 2016

Standard Life Investments is to use its stake in BG Group to back the oil company’s £40bn merger with Royal Dutch Shell, just days after calling the deal “value destructive”.

The investment firm, which owns 2.1pc of Shell and 1.3pc of BG, plans to support the proposal at the latter’s annual general meeting on January 28,

It comes less than a week after David Cumming, head of equities at Standard Life Investments, vowed to vote against the deal using the Shell stake because the low oil price would not make it worthwhile.

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Major Shell investor vows to vote against £40bn BG Group takeover

Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 21.04.58Standard Life Investments, the 16th largest shareholder in Shell with a 2.1pc stake, has voiced doubts that the oil price will bounce back sufficiently to make the tie-up worthwhile.

Brent crude fell again on Friday to trade at $33.55, having slumped more than 70pc since July 2014. It is believed investors feel the price needs to be around $60-$65 in order to support the deal.

Standard Life Investments also has concerns over BG’s assets in Brazil, which is at risk of heft tax bills in th struggling South American economy.

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Investor halves BG Group stake as doubts grow over Shell deal

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By Ben Martin, and Ben Marlow, THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH: 3 JAN 2016

One of the world’s largest investors has more than halved its stake in BG Group, sparking fresh speculation that some of the oil explorer’s top shareholders are sceptical about the prospects for its proposed tie-up with rival Royal Dutch Shell.

Capital Group, which is also one of the biggest investors in Shell, offloaded £417m of BG shares over the course of December, slashing its shareholding in the FTSE 100 giant from 2.2pc to 0.9pc, stock exchange filings show.

The American fund management firm continued to reduce its stake even after Shell published the prospectus for the blockbuster BG takeover on December 22, in which it sought to convince shareholders of the merits of the deal by outlining additional capital spending cuts.

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Fund management industry’s credibility on show in planned BG-Shell merger

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Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 09.03.45By Ian McVeigh: 3:35PM GMT 02 Jan 2016

Shell bid for BG in April last year, after the oil price had halved. It is impossible to say what the price of BG would be without the bid, far lower for sure and most calculations suggest that a premium of around $20bn to $25bn is being paid to the shareholders of BG.

I am not suggesting that the board and management of Shell are thinking “I’ll be gone, you’ll be gone”.

The people at Shell take a more long-term view than those on the trading desks of the banks might take, but when you consider the CFO’s comment not to worry about the price paid, this sounds like a classic case of a deal made using other people’s money to me.

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UK awash with oil as tankers forced to turn around

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Unseasonably warm winter weather has left the UK with its highest October stockpiles of oil for the past five years, according to Government figures

By John Ficenec, and Agency: 2:46PM GMT 22 Dec 2015

Record high temperatures in December have left the UK with the highest stocks of oil for five years as Europe-bound fuel tankers are forced into mid-Atlantic U-turns.

An unseasonably balmy period means the UK is on track for the warmest December in more than 100 years, and stocks of oil and gas are piling up as households turn down the heating.

Oil stocks in the UK have risen to almost 15m tonnes, which is 9pc above the same stage last year, according to the latest figures released by the Department for Energy and Climate Change.

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BG investor sells £100m of shares

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By Ben Martin, and Ben Marlow: 20 Dec 2015

One of the biggest investors in BG Group has sold almost £100m of shares in the oil and gas business in the past week, raising questions about its view of the company’s £55bn takeover by Royal Dutch Shell.

Investment giant Capital Group offloaded stock worth approximately £76.4m on Thursday and about £21.1m the day before, as well as smaller disposals earlier in the week. The sales by Capital, which is also a major investor in Shell, came during a week in which another big shareholder in both energy companies voiced concerns about the BG takeover.

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