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Posts under ‘Forbes’

Is Shell’s Lower Oil Forever Really So Unrealistic?

“Royal Dutch Shell PLC’s chief executive drew a collective gasp with his “lower forever” comment as one recent story put it.”  Funny, in 2012 when I said at an OPEC conference that the price was likely to return to the $50-60 range, it was not even taken seriously enough for gasps:  the moderator actually thought I was joking, and an oil company CEO replied, ‘Well, you hate to call someone an idiot’ apparently unaware I’ve been called much, much worse. 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

Aramco IPO: How It Will Stack Up Against Exxon & Shell

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As Saudi Aramco’s much hyped IPO approaches, the company’s most recent annual review, released last week, provides insight into its strategic direction. Aramco has positioned itself to be accepted by investors as a major international oil company (IOC) and as a globally diversified energy enterprise with integrated downstream and sales operations around the world. Currently, Aramco is a national oil company (NOC), owned by the government. But upon its expected public offering of shares, it will join the ranks of other major IOCs. read more

Shell Doubles Profit

Though sales at Royal Dutch Shell have been declining, the company’s profit more than doubled in the past year – catapulting it to the top of our 2017 list of Europe’s largest companies.

Shell is one of 469 Europe-based public companies on Forbes’ Global 2000, our annual ranking of the world’s largest public companies.

For the past year, Shell saw $234 billion in sales,$4.6 billion in profit, $411 billion in assets and a market cap of $228 billion. In 2016, the company ranked as the 50th largest company in the world. Today, it ranks 20th. read more

Why I’d Keep Selling Royal Dutch Shell Despite Q1 Profits Bounce

Royston Wild , CONTRIBUTOR: 4 May 2017

Royal Dutch Shell moved away from multi-month lows in Thursday business after announcing a sharp earnings bounceback during the first quarter of the year. The stock was last 1% higher from the midweek close.

Shell — which moved to its cheapest since late November in recent sessions — reported that earnings on a constant cost of supplies (or CCS) basis leapt 315% during January-March, to $3.4bn thanks to a steady recovery in the oil price.

In particular, Shell chief executive Ben van Beurden noted that ‘we saw notable improvements in Upstream and Chemicals, which benefited from improved operational performance and better market conditions.’ read more

Shell Knew Of Bribe Payments To Nigerian Official, Global Witness Report Alleges

A recent publication of leaked emails has found evidence that Shell knowingly bribed ministers in the Nigerian government. Global Witness, an anti-corruption NGO, described the episode as “one of the worst corruption scandals in the history of the oil industry”.

The affair relates to OLP 245, an offshore oilfield in Nigerian waters that is estimated to hold nine billion barrels of oil, valued at over half a trillion dollars at current prices. read more

What Shell Could Unload Next As Part Of Its $30B Divestiture Program

By Claire Poole: CONTRIBUTOR: 31 JAN 2017

Royal Dutch Shell plc (NSYE:RDS.A) has been on a divestiture spree after its debt-laden $50 billion purchase of BG Group plc last year, the latest being its sale of some of its oil and gas properties in the North Sea to private equity-backed Chrysaor Holdings Ltd. for $3.8 billion as well as its stake in a Thailand field to Kuwait Petroleum Corp. for $900 million. The sales — which follow the recent unloading of assets in Saudi Arabia, Japan and Australia  – are nudging it toward 40% of the $30 billion divestiture goal it hopes to reach by the end of next year. What could be next? read more

Obama’s Arctic Drilling Ban Is Reversible, But The GOP And Big Oil Are Likely In No Rush To Fight It

David Blackmon: Contributor. Dec 21, 2016

The hits just keep on coming from our outgoing President. On Wednesday, Mr. Obama took one more of many parting shots at the domestic oil and gas industry at the behest of his supporters in the anti-development lobby, setting aside much of the northeastern Atlantic coast, all U.S. waters off the North Slope of Alaska in the Beaufort Sea and almost all of the federal waters in the adjacent Chukchi Sea “indefinitely off-limits for future oil and gas leasing.” read more

Is OPEC’s Output Deal A Game Changer For Royal Dutch Shell And BP?

Is OPEC’s Output Deal A Game Changer For Royal Dutch Shell And BP?

Royston Wild: Sept 29, 2016

Investors in the fossil fuel sector have finally had cause to celebrate this week after OPEC suggested that an output freeze could finally be in the offing.

The idea had initially been tabled at the start of the year as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Venezuela and Russia got around the table. But Iran’s determination to get the pumps ramped back up to pre-sanction levels put the plan firmly on the backburner.

However, with Tehran’s reluctance to take part in a deal now apparently thawing, stock pickers have become more optimistic over the growth outlook for many of the oil industry’s major players. read more

Shell’s Growth Priority Over The Next Five Years — Deepwater

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Trefis Team SEP 29, 2016 @ 08:42 AM

With the ever-growing energy needs worldwide, the conventional sources of energy are likely to exhaust soon. Having explored the majority of the onshore reserves, oil and gas producers around the globe are now moving to offshore reserves, that are primarily formations in deep waters, containing thick layers of oil and gas in permeable rock. Consequently, Deepwater drilling, often used to categorize drilling in water depths of greater than around 400 meters, has become an attractive alternative to onshore drilling. In line with this growing trend, Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS.A) has categorized Deepwater as one of its growth priorities for the next five years. (Also Read: Shell’s Growth Priority Over The Next Five Years – Chemicals) In this note, we discuss the growth potential of the deepwater market, Shell’s positioning in this market, and its strategy going forward. read more

One Floating LNG Dream Sinks As Another Gets Ready To Float

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One Floating LNG Dream Sinks As Another Gets Ready To Float

Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 10.34.57Unfortunately for Shell it formally committed to the Prelude development in May, 2011, a time when oil was selling for around $120 a barrel, three-times the current price of around $41/bbl.

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By Tim Treadgold: March 23, 2016

No-one blinked and share prices barely fluttered when a $40 billion plan by Australia’s Woodside Petroleum ngIf: ticker to develop a floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) project was torpedoed earlier today.

However, the knock-on consequences of sinking the Browse project will be felt most acutely at Europe’s biggest oil company, Royal Dutch Shell ngIf: ticker .

The immediate impact on Shell is that it has a 27% interest in the Woodside-led Browse LNG project, but it is also nearing completion of the world’s biggest floating LNG barge, the $12.6 billion Prelude project. read more

Shell Oil CEO Says Petrobras Should Step Aside In Brazil

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Ben van Beurden, Chief Executive Officer of Royal Dutch Shell, said in Brazil on Feb. 15 that the government should allow for more foreign investment in the country’s lucrative off-shore oil fields without having to partner with beleaguered oil major Petrobras.

By Contributor: Kenneth Rapoza: 15 Feb 2016

Brazil’s government-owned oil giant, Petrobras, should cede some of its drilling rights to foreign firms, Royal Dutch Shell Oil CEO Ben van Beurden was quoted saying in Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper on Monday.

The Shell Oil man is arguing for greater private investment in Brazil’s precious off-shore oil fields in the Atlantic Ocean, rather than current rules that require 50% ownership by Petrobras. In theory, such a move would entice private oil firms to explore for more oil and keep it for themselves, rather than having to share half of it with Petrobras. That wouldn’t eliminate government royalties, of course, but it would give foreign firms like Shell the incentive to explore and develop deep water oil fields on their own. read more

Royal Dutch Shell plc and BG Group plc merger

Screen Shot 2016-02-06 at 08.47.20By Brett Owens: Forbes.com: 6 Feb 2016

The Royal Dutch Shell plc ADR (RDS.A) and BG Group plc ADR (BRGYY) merger, which looked liked such a win-win for everyone has grown a bit complicated as the deal nears completion. The premium has shrunk, as have the benefits of the merger with prices under $90 a barrel.

However, there are still some takeaways for investors to breathe easier about. First, Shell has never cut or suspended its dividend in 40 years. That includes the late 1980s when oil was at $10. And despite a 56% drop in fourth quarter profits, the firm has reiterated it will maintain its dividend for 2016.

The firm has delayed capital expenditures and cut spending. It plans to slash another 3% of its employees this year after the merger.

The Shell BG merger increases Shell’s reserves by 25% and its output by 20%. More importantly, it makes Shell a well positioned producer of LNG – a segment that is growing internationally as oil declines. The merger takes Shell from third to the second largest public oil producer by capitalization after Exxon. read more

Royal Dutch Shell Looks To Curtail Capital Spending On Current Down Cycle In Global Oil Prices

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Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 08.55.47Trefis Team Contributor: DEC 30, 2015 

Oil & Gas companies across the globe are choosing to curtail capital expenditures even though it might mean the loss of growth in future production. Royal Dutch Shell Plc. is also adopting this strategy and recently announced that it is revising its capital spending estimates for 2016. This announcement is the latest in a spate of cost cutting decisions the company has taken in the wake of the extended period of low crude oil prices. We believe that this is the right way forward for Royal Dutch Shell in the near term, and these measures will be beneficial in maintaining the company’s cash profit margins till oil prices begin to recover in the long run. read more

Gas Wars Down Under Finally Come To An End: Shell-BG Group Tie-Up Gets Green Light

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Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben Van Beurden addresses a keynote speech during the World Gas Conference in Paris on June 2, 2015. Photo Credit:  ERIC PIERMONT/AFP/Getty Images)

Tim Daiss, CONTRIBUTOR: DEC 4, 2015

The proposed $70 billion Shell-BG Group mega deal, one of the largest energy deals in a decade, is now a reality, at least in Australia.

On Thursday, the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) gave the green light to the energy tie-up. The deal has already received regulatory approval in the US, EU and Brazil, while regulatory approval from Chinese authorities is still pending, but expected to be granted. The FIRB approval comes just two weeks after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the country’s competition regulator, approved the deal. read more

Complications Grow For Shell-BG Deal

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Trefis Team, CONTRIBUTOR: NOV 27, 2015

…the Chinese authorities reviewing the proposed Royal Dutch Shell – BG Group merger are reportedly urging Royal Dutch Shell to dole out concessions on long-term liquefied natural gas supply contracts with the country.

After getting an all-clear from the Australian completion authority last week, Shell now needs clearance from China and Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board for the deal to close as planned in early 2016.

SOURCE

Big Oil Gears Up For $60 Break-even Price As Profits Sink

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Gaurav SharmaOCT 31, 2015

The latest quarterly results season is receding into the accounting archives, with BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron and the keenly anticipated numbers of Exxon Mobil now with us.

That lower oil prices continue to dent profits at the world’s biggest oil companies is no longer news. Figures on their often unloved downstream operations performing well bring a few smiles and keep detractors of the integrated model quieter than usual.

Take big beast Exxon, which reported quarterly profits of $4.24bn, down 47% on an annualized basis from the same quarter last year. Its profits from refining doubled to about $2bn, but upstream takings fell 79% to $1.4bn. Prior to Exxon, smaller rivals (e.g. – BP, Shell and Chevron) had all posted declines in headline quarterly profits earlier in the week. Yet read between the lines of the profit declines, and a common message on how to cope seems to be emerging. read more

Why We Believe Shell’s Stock Is Worth $62

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Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 07.55.40Trefis Team, CONTRIBUTOR: Oct 16, 2015

Royal Dutch Shell Plc. is one of the world’s leading oil & gas companies with operations all across the globe. The company has been hit hard by the current downtrend of low crude oil prices and its average price realizations in both upstream and downstream segments have suffered as a result. Consequently, we believe that Royal Dutch Shell’s Trefis adjusted total revenue for the year 2015 will decline by close to 30% as compared to last year and amount to $337.3 billion (Calculated revenue figures not subjected to any intersegment elimination). However, we believe that a gradual recovery in oil prices in subsequent years will lead to a period of growth in Royal Dutch Shell’s revenues and the company’s revenues will be just shy of $450 billion by the end of our forecast period (2022). Our price target for Royal Dutch Shell stands at $62, implying a premium of more than 10% to the market. In this piece, we try to analyze some of the key drivers we have used in our valuation of Royal Dutch Shell. read more

Can Royal Dutch Shell Sustain Its High Dividends?

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Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 07.55.40Trefis Team, CONTRIBUTOR: OCT 7, 2015

Royal Dutch Shell‘s dividend yield has reached a high of over 8%, given that its stock price fell by almost 18% in the last three months. The company has committed to paying its current dividend for the current financial year despite the pressure on its net income. However, it is now uncertain whether the company will be able to sustain this dividend in the future. The market seems bearish on Shell’s growth prospects.Our current price estimate for Shell stands at around 30% above the market price. In our bear case scenario, our price estimate faces a 20% downside, based on a reduced forecast for global crude oil prices, Shell’s exploration success, and downstream EBITDA margins. However, we remain optimistic on Shell, given its long standing history of dividend payments, we believe that Shell will not initiate a dividend cut. read more

Premium Times: Former Shell Executive Director Arrested in London on Corruption Allegations Involving Over $20bn

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…former board member of Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria…

By Bassey Udo: 4 Oct 2015

The Nigerian presidency has confirmed the arrest of a former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, in London, over allegations of corruption and money laundering.

“The government is aware of the arrest and all the government investigative agencies are working very closely with the British law enforcement,” the Senior Special Assistant to the President, Garba Shehu, told PREMIUM TIMES exclusively on Sunday.

“Nigerian authorities are saying for the first time that matters are being handled with seriousness and deep commitment. Nobody wants to give the impression that this government is frivolous and unserious.

“For this reason, government is only confirming active collaboration. Beyond this, we are not saying more. In due course, Nigerians will be briefed on updates as appropriate.” read more

What Shell’s latest move says about Arctic drilling myths

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Screen Shot 2015-10-03 at 14.26.20By  Scott L. Montgomery OCTOBER 1, 2015

The company’s departure is certainly a pause in a new era of Arctic exploration, but it’s not the end.

After seven years of preparation and several billion dollars spent, Shell has decided to abandon its exploration program in the U.S. Arctic “for the foreseeable future.” This follows barely two months’ drilling in the Chukchi Sea at the company’s Burger J well, located 150 miles northwest of Barrow, Alaska. Evaluation of all data revealed “indications” of oil and gas but not enough to justify further activity in today’s low price environment. read more

Shell-BG Deal Could Face Regulatory Sanctions, But Shell Will Do Everything It Can To Save Deal

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Trefis Team, CONTRIBUTOR: 2 Oct 2015

Ever since announcing the $70 billion deal to acquire BG Group back in April, Royal Dutch Shell Plc. has been busy these last few months obtaining the required merger related approvals from various regulatory authorities. After obtaining the required clearances in Brazil, the U.S., and Europe, the process hit a snag in Australia. This is not surprising as Australia is significantly more affected by the deal in comparison to the other countries. We believe that the Australian competition authority could ask Shell to divest some of its holdings before giving the necessary clearance to the deal and the company could face similar demands from Chinese regulators as well. We also believe that Shell will agree to the conditions imposed (if any) as the company stands to benefit from the merger in the long run. The deal will allow Shell to consolidate its leadership position in the global Liquefied Natural Gas market and increase its exposure towards the exploration and development of deepwater hydrocarbon reserves, primarily the pre-salt reserves offshore Brazil. read more

Shell Handed A Get-Out-Jail Card As Its $70 Billion Bid For BG Hits An Obstacle

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Tim Treadgold, CONTRIBUTOR

Shareholders in Royal Dutch Shell ngIf: ticker will be uncertain whether they should thank, or criticize, the Australian Government’s competition regulator for threatening the proposed $70 billion merger with rival oil and gas producer, BG Group ngIf: ticker .

On one hand, a deal which could transform Shell is being threatened. On the other hand, missing out on BG could be the best result for Shell.

The problem is that BG’s primary appeal to Shell is that the target, once known as British Gas, is heavily exposed to liquefied natural gas (LNG), a fuel moving into a period of significant over-supply and potentially lower prices, at least in the short term. read more

Crisis In The Arctic

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Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 12.52.57Brigham A. McCownCONTRIBUTOR: 3 August 2015

Last week, Greenpeace activists succeeded in temporarily halting Shell’s icebreaker, MSV Fennica, from starting its voyage out of Portland, Oregon. The vessel was to join the rest of the fleet on its way to the Artic to begin oil exploration. In defiance of a federal court injunction to halt river traffic, 13 Greenpeace activists hung off St. Johns Bridge while kayaks below blocked the waterway, preventing the ship from passing under the bridge. After a day of delays, the vessel left Oregon early Friday morning with the help of law enforcement, after a federal judge found Greenpeace in contempt and fined them $17,500 for impeding the ships progress. read more

Choose Shell Over Greenpeace For Arctic Oil And Natural Gas

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Jude Clemente2 August 2015

Greenpeace’s ongoing attack on Royal Dutch Shell is a concern for energy resource and thus human development around the world. It failed, but Greenpeace just tried to stop Shell’s icebreaker from leaving port in Portland, Oregon, in the hopes of blocking Shell’s drilling plans in the Arctic. Greenpeacers dangled from ropes off St. Johns Bridge to stop the Arctic drilling ship. A federal judge in Alaska ordered Greenpeace to pay $2,500 for every hour that protesters block the icebreaker from leaving Portland. read more

Greenpeace 1, Shell 1

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Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 19.22.09 Himler Contributor: Media, tech & marketing through the eyes of a seasoned PR strategist. : 31 July 2015

It was the early nineties and I was headed down to Houston with a video crew in tow. Our task: to capture generic footage of motorists filling up at Shell gas stations for use as part of a satellite news feed for an imminent company news announcement.

During the planning and prep session with Shell Oil Company’s CEO, its head of refining and others, I was informed that this would be the company’s first-ever news conference(!). Shell planned to introduce the nation’s first “environmentally enhanced” gasoline*, SU2000E, and we were retained to mount the presser and feed the footage to the dozen cities in which would be available. read more

Are European Companies Ignoring E.U. Sanctions On Russia?

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Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 22.09.48Are European Companies Ignoring E.U. Sanctions On Russia?

Kenneth Rapoza: 22 June 2015

…some very powerful entities in the E.U. have had it with sanctions. For example, Gazprom, Shell, E.ON and Austria’s OMV Group signed a memorandum last Thursday…

It’s been nearly a year since sectoral sanctions were slapped on Russia for its involvement in helping create a frozen conflict in Eastern Ukraine. European and American companies banned financing of Russian energy firms, and banks. They banned any joint venture deals with Russian oil and gas companies that involved exploration and production, or the selling of technologies used in E&P. But if a string of memorandum of understandings signed during last week’s St. Petersburg International Forum puts anything in the spotlight this week it is this: some very powerful entities in the E.U. have had it with sanctions. read more

Saudi Arabia Lets The World Drown In Oil

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Article by Nathan Vardi: Forbes Staff: Friday 5 June 2015

To the surprise of nobody, Saudi Arabia and the other OPEC member states decided in Vienna on Friday to maintain production targets of 30 million barrels a day, making sure the world remains flooded with oil. The fact that OPEC—particularly the core countries of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates—have refused to play their traditional stabilizing role and cut oil production makes it less likely that oil prices will rebound to the $115 a barrel level that was reached about one year ago. read more

Big Data In Big Oil: How Shell Uses Analytics To Drive Business Success

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By Bernard Marr:  26 May 2015

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The oil and gas industries are facing major challenges – the costs of extraction are rising and the turbulent state of international politics adds to the difficulties of exploration and drilling for new reserves. In the face of big problems, its key players are turning to Big Data in the hope of finding solutions to these pressing issues.

Big Data is the name used to describe the theory and practice of applying advanced computer analysis to the ever-growing amount of digital information that we can collect and store from the world around us. Over the last few years businesses in every industry have enthusiastically developed data-led strategies for overcoming problems and solving challenges, and the oil and gas industries are no different. read more

Shell Makes A Huge Bet On LNG and Pre-Salt

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Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 08.12.04Shell Makes A Huge Bet On LNG and Pre-Salt

Anglo-Dutch oil major, Royal Dutch Shell Plc., recently announced plans for a mammoth – $70 billion – acquisition of BG Group Plc. to further extend its leadership position in the global LNG (liquefied natural gas) market and increase its exposure towards the exploration and development of deepwater hydrocarbon reserves, primarily the pre-salt reserves offshore Brazil.

The company plans to acquire BG Group in a cash and stock deal valued at 1,350 pence per BG share. The company will pay BG shareholders 383 pence in cash and 0.4454 class B shares in itself for each share of BG held. read more

Shell, With $70B Deal For BG Group, Becomes World LNG Giant

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Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 08.12.04Christopher Helman

So this is how the consolidation starts. Royal Dutch Shell is making a smart move in its $70 billion acquisition of BG Group . The deal will gain Shell access to the most exciting deepwater oil projects in the world, in Brazil. While adding in BG Group’s fast-growing liquefied natural gas business will soon make Shell the undisputed world leader in LNG. The combination will set Shell on the path to unseat Exxon Mobil XOM -1.95% as the world’s biggest oil company — at least until the next big acquisition is revealed. read more

Seattle’s Silly War On Oil Rigs

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 19.49.45From an article by Loren Steffy published 16 March 2015 by Forbes.com under the headline:

Seattle’s Silly War On Oil Rigs: Reminder, The City Is Also Home To Boeing, The World’s Largest Jet Maker

If a plane flies over Seattle, does anyone hear it? Probably not, because they’re all down at the docks protesting the parking of drilling rigs used in the Arctic. When the port of Seattle agreed to allow Shell to park drill ships on the city’s waterfront, a “kind of civic call to arms” erupted, according to the New York Times.

A unanimous City Council lined up alongside the mayor to question the legality of the agreement with the Port of Seattle, a court challenge was filed by environmental groups, and protesters, in bluster or bluff, vowed to block the rigs’ arrival — though the exact timetable is secret, for security reasons — with a flotilla of kayaks in Elliott Bay. read more

Investors Freak: Oil on its way down to $20 A Barrel?

Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 23.58.26From an article by Christopher Helman published by Forbes.com on 6 Jan 2015 under the headline:

“Investors Freak As Saudi Inaction Could Sink Oil To $20 A Barrel. Time To Buy?

OPEC is not going to come to the rescue. It is up to American producers to cut oil supplies.

The world freaked out over oil Monday. U.S. crude fell as low as $49.77 a barrel, down about 6%. Brent crude is at $53. This is the lowest price since early 2009, when oil bottomed at $35 less than nine months after hitting a record high of $147.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 331 points Monday. Many reports have blamed oil for the stock market weakness, but that doesn’t really make much sense. All else equal, low oil prices are a boon to economic growth. And besides, considering how high the Dow has risen, 330 points just ain’t what it used to be — merely a 1.8% move. Back in 2008 the Dow suffered 11 days with losses of 4% or more. read more

Big Oil’s $3 Billion Homage to Nazi War Criminal

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The biggest vessel in the world, the Pieter Schelte (above) has been built by Daewoo in South Korea. Swiss company Allseas commissioned the building of the huge $1.7bn ship. Both the legs and main structure of a rig can be moved simultaneously (shown in illustration)

Article by Eamonn Fingleton published by Forbes.com: 20 December 2014

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Big Oil’s $3 Billion Homage to Nazi War Criminal

Ships don’t come bigger than the Pieter Schelte. They don’t come more controversial either. Built in Korea at a cost of nearly $3 billion, the gargantuan new ship is now sailing towards the Netherlands, where it will soon enter service in the European offshore oil industry.

A huge catamaran, it weighs 932,000 tons, a world record, and nearly 18 times the Titanic. It will lift offshore oil rigs weighing up to 48,000 tons, again a world record. So much for the technicalities – but there is, ahem, a slight political problem: the ship’s name. read more

Authorities likely to wave through a Shell BP merger

Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 12.29.57EXTRACTS FROM A FORBES.COM ARTICLE BY TIM WORSTALL PUBLISHED 6 DECEMBER 2014

If Royal Dutch Shell Buys BP Should The Authorities Ban The Purchase?

There’s interesting (and fun!) rumors floating around the London market that Royal Dutch Shell might attempt to purchase BP. These sorts of mergers (or takeovers) aren’t unusual in a commodity business like oil at a time of weak prices.

Here’s the story swirling around:

One of Britain’s oldest oil companies BP could be about to be sold to its biggest rival for a fiver per share.

The rumoured deal, if realised, would complete one of the most ignominious falls for the once great Persian Oil company that powered Britain’s Navy to victory during the First World War. read more

Declining coal production in the U.S.

From a Regular Contributor

The following link is about the approaching end of cheap and easy coal from the surface mines in the Western part of the US, specifically Wyoming. These reserves are approaching depletion. That is good for the planet but not necessarily good for electricity consumers in the US, China, and Europe.

The end of cheap easy coal? – Mountain Town News

However, the cost of renewable energy keeps dropping and is now almost cost competitive with coal, given that the price per ton of coal has doubled in the last 10 years. read more

Shell shareholders can only wish that they had never heard of Alaska

Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 09.25.26By John Donovan

Christopher Helman of Forbes has neatly summarised the misadventures of Royal Dutch Shell in Alaska…

“Consider for a second the $5 billion misadventure that Royal Dutch Shell has had in Alaska. Here’s a quick recap: In 2008 Shell acquired the rights to exploration blocks in the Beaufort Sea north of the North Slope. Shell, in 2012 (after years of studying whales and seals, negotiating with the native peoples, and satisfying draconian EPA rules governing diesel emissions in the middle of freaking nowhere) finally floated its Kulluk drillship into the Beaufort, where it only got to drill for a few weeks before having to be towed back to port lest icebergs crush it. On the way out it got grounded on the rocks of Kodiak Island. Shell decided to press pause on its Alaska project, and Shell shareholders can only wish that they had never heard of Alaska.” read more

BP And Shell Have Problems, But Manageable Ones, With The Russian Sanctions

Screen Shot 2014-04-26 at 10.44.49Extract from a Forbes article by Tim Worstall published 29 April 2014

The imposition of sanctions on various Russian people and organisations over the Ukraine threatened to pose a number of problems for the big energy companies, especially BP and Shell. If Rosneft itself were placed on the list, for example, or Gazprom, the the respective situations for BP and Shell would change markedly. …obviously neither of them is going to flout the law of a country where they have such considerable interests, as they do in the US.  read more

What The Hell, Shell? Oil Giant Warns On Disastrous Quarter

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 07.56.54Royal Dutch Shell released a dreadful profit warning today. …a few more quarters like this one and the pressure will mount on CEO van Beurden to start slashing that capex and put Shell into a managed shrink-down like CEO Robert Dudley has been forced to do at BP. Earlier this week The Financial Times reported that Shell plans to divest some $15 billion worth of assets over the next two years. The magnitude of Shell’s shortcoming caught even the sharpest pencils off guard. “We’re a bit shell-shocked this morning after this profit warning… And we all remember its 2012 arctic drilling fiasco in Alaska. All told, mighty Shell is losing money on its oil and gas fields in the United States.

Screen Shot 2014-01-17 at 17.25.20

Christopher Helman, Forbes Staff: 1/17/2014 @ 9:46AM

Royal Dutch Shell released a dreadful profit warning today. Fourth quarter earnings are expected to come in at $2.2 billion, down from $7.3 billion a year ago. Full year earnings will be down almost 40% to $16.8 billion. Upstream earnings were off 45% year-over-year, while downstream refining earnings plunged 58%. Topping it off, in the past year Shell’s oil and gas volumes have slumped roughly 13% to 2.9 million barrels of oil (and natural gas equivalents) per day. read more

Marvin Odum, just another Shell snake oil salesman

Screen Shot 2013-03-26 at 23.26.03By John Donovan

Based on insider information, we beat Shell to the punch by announcing a day before Shell, that David Lawrence had left the company. We said that he had been fired after Shell’s Arctic plans fell apart.

When Shell was put under pressure to comment, the company claimed Lawrence was leaving by mutual consent. A fuelfix article published by The Houston Chronicle said in reference to this website “skeptics have fostered a different view:”

It wasn’t a case of being skeptical. We knew for certain that Shell was not being candid. Shell Oil Company president Marvin Odum apparently hoped we would all swallow the “mutual consent” hogwash. read more

Selection of links to Shell related articles: 17 February 2013

Screen Shot 2013-01-31 at 17.38.03Selection of links to current Shell related articles kindly provided by a regular contributor

Heat on Nigeria oil industry as sector chiefs meet: Daily Nation-Major oil industry executives gather in Nigeria’s capital for an annual … by government ministers and top officials from oil majors Shell, Exxon, …

Oil and Gas Feeding Off Each Other While They are Fueling …: Forbes-Oil and natural gas are often found alongside one another, making it … Royal Dutch Shell, meantime, acquired East Resources for $4.7 billion in …

Turkish TPAO and Shell sign agreement on oil exploration in Black …: SteelGuru-Trend reported that Turkish Petroleum Corporation TPAO and the company Shell signed an agreement worth USD 150 million on oil … read more

Why Shell Should Just Quit Its Alaska Drilling Fiasco

Christopher Helman, Forbes Staff: I’m based in Houston, Texas. Energy capital of the world.

Royal Dutch Shell is taking flack from all directions today as a team of salvage experts try to figure out how to free the $290 million Kulluk floating drilling rig that ran aground on the coast of Alaska Monday. The crew of the Kulluk has been rescued, and thanks to a 3-inch steel hull none of the diesel fuel onboard has spilled. But this latest fiasco in a long line of mishaps further underscores the risks of exploring for oil in the Arctic Chukchi and Beaufort seas.

Shell has sunk more than $5 billion into its Alaskan venture since acquiring leases for $2 billion four years ago, and has precious little to show for it. In 2010, when Shell thought it was ready to go, it was stopped by the federal offshore drilling moratorium in the wake of BP‘s disaster. Then there were years of delays as Shell made improvements to the Kulluk rig to meet draconian EPA regulations on diesel emissions. Then in 2012 Shell faced permitting delays on its Arctic Challenger barge, which is to meant to help capture oil in the event of a Deepwater Horizon-style blowout. Worse, the Challenger was damaged during testing in Washington state, requiring weeks of repairs. In July the anchors of the Kulluk’s sister ship, the Noble Discoverer, came loose and dragged across the seafloor. In the short drilling season between July and October, Shell managed only to begin drilling two wells, in the Berger and Sivulliq prospects, before having to pull up and clear out before ice set in. It only got that little bit of work after the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management approved Shell’s request that it be allowed to drill a little later into the season than is generally thought wise. read more

Shell News Archive 3 November 2005

From Our Shell News Archive 3 November 2005

openprovider.co.uk: The EU domain battle

“A recent example of an expensive lawsuit is the Shell case for royaldutchshellplc.com and royaldutchshellgroup.com. Shell lost this case. So far the lawsuit has cost millions and the domain still doesn’t belong to them.

(Comment by John Donovan on 3 November 2012: We have no idea how much Shell paid out in legal costs for an action served in the USA with Shell paying all costs incurred by the World Intellectual Property Organisation. We do know how much it cost us in legal costs. Not one penny. We represented ourselves and vanquished Shell and its army of lawyers. We still own all of the Shell related domain names Shell unsuccessfully tried to seize.)

Forbes/AFX News Limited: Shell and unions reach compromise, work at Dutch refineries to resume today: “…the CNV Chemie union confirmed that Shell has agreed to continue to allow its workers to retire at the age of 60.”: Thursday 3 November 2005 read more

Black Gold In Ireland? MindThe Eco Warriors, Though.

Big Oil has watched the Irish scene and its public protests and court cases with trepidation. John O’Sullivan, technical director with Providence Resources, told the Financial Times, “We’ve definitely seen a Corrib ripple effect…. [Potential investors] go through the technical assessment, it gets to their main board and then someone who has worked at Shell or read about Corrib says they are not going to touch Ireland.”

11 November 2012

Ireland’s troubled economy received a jolt of hope last month with the news that an oil field off the achingly beautiful coast of West Cork may contain as much as 1.7 billion barrels of oil, with 280 million barrels of that recoverable in the short term at a rate of 100,000 barrels a day, That’s more than the entire country consumes and you would think “Eureka!” is the word. But few are doing cartwheels just yet, given the legacy of futility that has plagued Irish offshore resource exploration for decades. read more

Shell, Corporate Social Responsibility and Respect for the Law

10/03/2012

This post is by Amol Mehra and Katie Shay

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court considered a case that strikes at the core of corporate social responsibility, Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum (Shell). The Kiobel plaintiffs allege that Shell was complicit in egregious human rights violations including rape, torture, and the extrajudicial killings of peaceful protesters who objected to Shell’s presence in Ogoniland, Nigeria. Shell, a Dutch corporation, argued that the law used to bring the company before a U.S. court, the Alien Tort Statute (ATS), should not apply. The multinational corporation argued that there is too tenuous a connection between what allegedly happened in Nigeria and the United States. Shell is essentially fighting to limit a law that remedies human rights abuses wherever they occur. read more

A Shell Game: When Reality Meets Bribery

9/21/2012 @ 4:03PM

When I used to train employees on how not to bribe, I always added a caveat.  If your health or safety is at issue, I used to say, get yourself out of the situation.  Contact me immediately when you get to a safe zone, but do what you have to do.

I thought of this while reading the Dorsey & Whitney monthly anti-corruption digest.

Let me digress for a moment.  Lots of firms put out FCPA marketing materials.  Very, very few are actually worth reading.  Shearman & Sterling’s yearly FCPA digest is the FCPA-world’s absolute must-read.  But that’s once a year (maybe twice…I think they put out a mid-year update).  Chadbourne & Parke comes out with a quarterly FCPA thing.  It’s different in that it generally addresses a few issues more in depth.  Very helpful, and the folks at Chadbourne do a great job (although, now that Scott Peeler went to Stroz Friedberg, I worry—my only comfort being that Ollie Armas from Chadbourne is as smart as they come). read more

After Mishaps, Shell Dials Back Arctic Oil-Drilling Plans

Christopher Helman

Christopher Helman, Forbes Staff: 9/17/2012

I’m based in Houston, Texas, energy capital of the world.

For weeks now it’s been unlikely that Shell would have enough time before the sea freeze sets in to drill down to oil-bearing zones in its newly spudded well in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea.

But today Shell made it official, announcing that it would seek only to finish “top hole” work on the Burger A well. It aims only to drill down to 1,400 feet beneath the seafloor, then plug and seal the hole for reentry next year. read more

Russia: Shell-Shocked From U.S. Shale Over Shtokman

Matthew Hulbert  By Matthew Hulbert, Contributor

8/29/2012

It’s been coming for a long time, but Gazprom has finally canned its 3.9tcm Shtokman gas development in the Barents Sea. France’s Total and Norway’s Statoil can breathe a collective sigh of relief as Gazprom’s triumvirate partners, ducking out of an increasingly expensive $20bn Arctic development. But as far as Russian Inc. is concerned, this is a strategic shocker. Far from dictating global LNG dynamics as the ‘swing producer’, Moscow is going to be kicked from pillar to post trying to set prices in Europe, and far more importantly, in Asia. That applies not only to liquid molecules, but pipeline gas as well. The reality of this hasn’t fully dawned on President Putin yet. When it does, expect the Kremlin to go for the quickest political fix it has to hand: The 63bcm South Stream pipeline specifically designed to stitch up South East European markets as the target of choice. Pathetic politics, but a sure sign of where Russia’s limited regional ambitions now rest. read more

The Frozen Frontier: Is Shell Ready For The Risks Of Arctic Drilling?

8/02/2012 @ 2:19PM

This column is a guest blog authored by Jim Coburn, who directs Ceres’s corporate sustainability disclosure program:

Just two years after BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, another oil industry giant is poised to begin drilling in an even more forbidding, unpredictable and remote environment: the Alaskan shoreline.

Shell is moving forward with at least two Arctic wells this year, at a time when confidence in the oil and gas industry’s risk management practices is remarkably low. read more

Was Greenpeace’s Shell Hoax Brilliant Or ‘Villainous’? One Of The Guys Behind It All Speaks.

Kashmir Hill, Forbes Staff: 7/19/2012 @ 3:51PM

Was Greenpeace’s Shell Hoax Brilliant Or ‘Villainous’? One Of The Guys Behind It All Speaks.

The reaction to Greenpeace’s hilarious hijacking of Shell Oil’s online identity has been mixed this week. Greenpeace and Yes Lab created a parody “Arctic Ready” website that closely mirrored Shell’s own site talking about drilling in the Arctic. They then created a “ShellisPrepared” Twitter account, purporting to be Shell’s bumbling social media team trying to contain the negative ads being generated by a social media tool on the site. Many of the people who saw the website and Twitter account assumed they were actually created by Shell, and broadcast them on social media as examples of corporate social media gone horribly wrong. Instead they were an example of activist social media sabotage gone viral. read more

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