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Oil is going down but Royal Dutch Shell plc is on the up

Harvey Jones | Thursday, 23rd March, 2017

Brent crude is now only a splash above $50. West Texas Intermediate has dripped to around $48. Predictions that oil would hit $60 or $70 on last year’s OPEC and non-OPEC production cuts have been shown to be desperately optimistic, and oil looks a tough play right now.

Straight to Shell

The share price of Anglo-Dutch major Royal Dutch Shell (LSE: RDSB) flew upwards in the wake of the OPEC deal, hitting a 52-week high of 2,390p in early December. After management’s campaign of cost-cutting, non-core disposals and capex slashing, analysts reckoned it could break even at around $55-60, which would help to sustain its proud record of never having cut its dividend since the war.

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Shell leads more active Gulf of Mexico federal oil lease sale

Mar. 22, 2017 6:35 PM ET|By: Carl Surran, SA News Editor

Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) led the way in today’s federal offshore lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico, which drew $275M in high bids following years of declining offshore interest that dates back before the downturn in oil and gas prices.

Shell made 20 bids totaling $55.9M, including the single highest apparent bid of $24.1M on Atwater Valley Block 64; Statoil (NYSE:STO) counted 13 apparent high bids totaling $44.5M, and Hess (NYSE:HES) ranked third with 12 apparent high bids totaling $43.9M.

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Shell to drill new wells by end-2018 to shore up Australia gas supply

Royal Dutch Shell said on Tuesday it will drill 161 new gas wells at its Queensland operations by the end of 2018, helping to underpin its promise to continue supplying 10 percent of the domestic gas market to help prevent a shortage.

The project at its QGC operations in the Surat Basin in southeast Queensland has been planned for some time as existing wells decline, with the new wells due to be drilled this year and next. The wells will help sustain Shell’s 75 petajoules of gas supplies a year to eastern Australia’s gas market.

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The expanding Malabu quagmire

Adekunle Ade- Adeleye: March 19, 2017

IT will get to a point where OPL 245, the lucrative oil block with multiple, feuding owners, will not even recognise itself, not to talk of its owners. The block, believed to contain more than nine billion barrels of crude oil and much more natural gas, has an illustrious and convoluted history that began controversially in 1998 when the Gen Sani Abacha government awarded it to Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd, a company in which an Abacha son, a diplomat, and oil minister at the time, Dan Etete, had interests. In 2002, it was revoked by the Olusegun Obasanjo presidency and awarded to Shell, thereby prompting Malabu to sue the government and the new owners. To settle out of court, the oil block was again revoked and given back to Malabu in 2006. Naturally Shell also went to court, and in 2011 the block reverted to Shell which paid $1.3bn to the Nigerian government, $1.1bn of which was transferred to Malabu. Dizzying, complex back and forth, and labyrinthine.

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Australia hauls in gas majors to avert local shortage

By Sonali Paul | SYDNEY

Australia’s top gas producers, led by ExxonMobil Corp and Royal Dutch Shell, agreed to boost supply to the country’s domestic market to help avert an energy shortage following crisis talks with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Australia is on track to become the world’s largest exporter of liquified natural gas (LNG), yet its energy market operator has warned of a domestic gas crunch from 2019 that could trigger industry supply cuts and broad power outages.

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Shell cancels Prince Rupert LNG project, to move forward on Kitimat project

Mar. 13, 2017 1:36 PM ET|By: Carl Surran, SA News Editor

Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) says it is ending development of its proposed Prince Rupert liquefied natural gas project in British Columbia but is still considering the potential of its other Pacific coast LNG option.

Prince Rupert LNG was part of a portfolio of projects acquired in the takeover of BG Group last year, but Shell says the project no longer stacks up against existing options.

Shell said it continues to actively move forward on the proposed Kitimat LNG Canada project in B.C. with its partners, even though last year it indefinitely deferred a final investment decision on it because of market conditions.

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Shell CEO’s plan for a smaller carbon footprint

Patti Domm: 9 March 2017

Royal Dutch Shell‘s announcement of the sale of $7.25 billion in Canadian oil sands assets Thursday is an important step to turning itself into a company of the future — with a broader mix of energy assets and a smaller carbon footprint.

Shell CEO Ben van Beurden said the company is committed to reshaping itself and believes that renewables and new energy will play a bigger role. The company is retaining just 10 percent of its Canadian sands assets.

“We are right in the middle of transforming the company into the company of the future,” he said at the CERAWeek conference in Houston, sponsored by IHS Markit.

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Shell accelerates plan to boost U.S. shale output -exec

* Shell to boost shale output by 140,000 bpoed by 2020

* Shell shale output profitable at average oil price $40/bbl

* Argentina shale development decision in 18 months

By Ron Bousso and Ernest Scheyder HOUSTON, March 7 (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell is ramping its North American shale output earlier than planned to lock in quick returns from what has become one of its most profitable businesses, the head of Shell’s unconventional energy business said. The Anglo-Dutch company plans to make shale oil and gas in the United States, Canada and Argentina a key engine of growth in the next decade, targeting output of around 500,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd), Greg Guidry told Reuters in an interview.

A drive to cut the cost of producing oil and gas from U.S. shale deposits has proven so effective that Shell has accelerated development plans, Guidry said on the sidelines of the CERAWeek industry conference in Houston.

It aims to boost output by 140,000 boepd over the next three years in the Permian basin in West Texas and the Duvernay region in Canada, said Guidry, an executive vice president.

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More about Shell “Show Trial” at Nyhamna Gas Plant

MORE INFORMATION – PLEASE READ IN CONJUNCTION WITH THESE ARTICLES

Climate of fear at Shell Nyhamna Gas Plant in Norway

SHOW TRIAL OF A SHELL NORWAY SAFETY REP

Translated script that Nyhamna Gas Plant Manager read from at staff canteen meeting filmed by Shell

Informers regime at Shell Nyhamna Gas Plant

# the company’s so-called Facts Survey was carried out by a lawyer and a psychologist hired by Shell and working within ”Terms of the Reference” created by Shell. It is clear with hindsight that the real purpose of making a Facts Survey about the work environment was actually to seek grounds for the dismissal of the elected Main Safety Delegate, Runar Kjoersvik, perceived by management as a troublemaker. He was too conscientious and too diligent on behalf of co-workers who elected him as their Main Safety Delegate.

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Prelude FLNG project relegated to the backburner

FLNG projects – mega tankers fitted with gas extraction and liquefaction facilities – allow producers to tap offshore gas wells and ship LNG without having to build costly pipelines to onshore plants. Owners can move the vessels to new fields when production at an old one ends, slashing asset end-of-life costs.

By Mark Tay: Reuters 6 March 2017

SINGAPORE: Once considered the future of gas production, floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) projects have been firmly relegated to the backburner as global gas producers seek cheaper ways to compete with a surge in U.S. shale supplies and slumping prices.

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Potential bidders eye Shell’s Corrib stake

Potential bidders eye Shell’s Corrib stake

The Sunday Business Post reports that as many as three potential bidders are running the rule over Shell’s stake in the €3.6 billion Corrib gas field off the west coast of Ireland as the oil and gas giant moves ahead with a $30 billion assets sell-off.

While the Corrib stake has not been formally put on the market, the newspaper cites unidentified market sources as saying that a number of companies are looking at Shell’s 45 per cent interest, with Australian bank Macquarie said to be among them.

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Pawnee Nation Sues Oklahoma Oil Companies in Tribal Court Over Earthquake Damage

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS: MARCH 4, 2017

OKLAHOMA CITY — A Native American tribe here has filed a lawsuit in its own tribal court system accusing several oil companies of causing an earthquake that damaged near-century-old tribal buildings.

The Pawnee Nation alleges in its lawsuit filed Friday that wastewater injected into wells operated by the defendants caused the 5.8-magnitude quake in September. The tribe is seeking compensation for damage to public and personal property and market value losses, as well as punitive damages.

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On board Shell’s Prelude barge, the world’s biggest vessel

PAUL GARVEY: Resources reporter, Perth: 4 March 2017

The biggest vessel the world has ever seen is in the final stages of preparation ahead of its maiden voyage to its permanent home off Australia’s northwest coast.

Royal Dutch Shell’s revolutionary Prelude floating liquefied natural gas facility — 50 per cent longer and six times the weight of the world’s largest aircraft carrier — is deep into the commissioning process at a shipyard in Korea, with the 120 Australians who will man the vessel already on board to familiarise themselves with the monster.

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SHELL ACCUSED OF IGNORING ITS OWN CLIMATE CHANGE WARNINGS FOR DECADES

By Janene Pieters on February 28, 2017 – 09:41

Dutch oil and gas giant Shell has known about the dangers of climate change for over 30 years, yet still continues to work with fossil fuels and does its best to frustrate an effective approach to the climate problems facing the world, according to a reconstruction done by De Correspondent and published on Tuesday.

The reconstruction is based on confidential internal documents and an investigation into Shell’s lobbying, NU.nl reports. For the reconstruction climate journalist Jelmer Mommers investigated Shell and its environmental policy for over a year. He spoke to dozens of Shell employees about how they perceive the future of the company. The full reconstruction, in Dutch, can be found here.

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Shell and Toyota Partner on California Fueling Stations for Hydrogen Cars

By Craig Trudell , Yuki Hagiwara , and John Lippert

20 February 2017, 20:30 GMT: 21 February 2017, 00:21 GMT

Royal Dutch Shell Plc will build seven fueling stations for hydrogen cars in California through a partnership with Toyota Motor Corp., laying down their latest bet on the demise of the internal-combustion engine.

The stations will nudge the state closer to its goal of having 100 retail sites by 2024 where hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles can fill up. The California Energy Commission is considering $16.4 million in grants toward the stations, with Shell and Toyota contributing $11.4 million.

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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 says new LNG buyers want shorter, smaller contracts

Shell says new LNG buyers want shorter, smaller contracts

By Reuters20 February 2017

LONDON, Feb 20 (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell, the world’s biggest liquefied natural gas (LNG) trader following its takeover of BG Group last year, said new LNG customers that will drive demand are looking for shorter and smaller contracts.

Shell expects much of new LNG demand to come from countries that want to replace declining domestic gas production — which has already happened in Egypt and Pakistan — and those countries that are looking at LNG to complement pipeline and domestically produced gas, like China or Morocco.

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Shell’s Paul Goodfellow to move on after £3billion sale

Written by Jeremy Cresswell – 17/02/2017 7:39 am

After roughly two years steering the unit through huge changes against a background of the third major oil price storm to rock the North Sea, Paul Goodfellow is taking on a new challenge as Shell’s executive vice president wells based at Rijkswijk in the Netherlands from April 1.

Assuming command in Aberdeen is Steve Phimister, who has for the past year been UK “transition lead” for the integration of BG Group’s business into Shell following the successful £36billion takeover completed early last year.

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Why I believe Royal Dutch Shell plc’s dividend looks safe despite falling profits

The Motley Fool: Why I believe Royal Dutch Shell plc’s dividend looks safe despite falling profits

Rupert Hargreaves | Monday, 13 February 2017

For much of the past three years, investors have continually questioned the sustainability of the Royal Dutch Shell (LSE: RDSB) dividend payout as the price of oil has languished. 

Indeed, as the price of oil has fallen to its lowest level in over a decade, Shell has been paying out more than it can realistically afford to investors, filling the gap between income and spending with debt. For example, during 2015 the company paid a total dividend of $9.4bn to investors even though free cash flow after capital expenditure was only $4bn. Last year, including capital spending and the dividend, the company spent $10bn more than cash generated from operations.

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Shell launches bid to leave massive, sludgy oil rig remnants in North Sea for 500 years

INDEPENDENT: Shell launches bid to leave massive, sludgy oil rig remnants in North Sea for 500 years

‘Oil and gas companies operating in the North Sea have a legal, as well as moral, obligation to clean-up their mess,’ says leading environmentalist

Ian Johnston Environment Correspondent: 8 Feb 2017

Oil giant Shell is to launch a bid to leave the 10 vast concrete legs of three oil rigs standing in the North Sea for up to 500 years after the platforms have been decommissioned.

The company’s proposals also include the controversial suggestion that oil mixed with sediment in 42 out of 64 concrete storage cells – each up to 20 metres in diameter and 60 metres high, taller than Nelson’s Column – should remain on the sea bed.

The decommissioning of the historic Brent field, created during the 1970s boom, represents the Government’s first big decision on what will happen to the main North Sea installations as they stop producing oil.

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Mayo council rapped on use of Shell funds

Valerie Flynn: Sunday February 5, 2017

An official audit has criticised Mayo county council’s management of an €8.5m fund provided by Shell for the benefit of the local community near the Corrib gas pipeline.

The council allocated €451,000 of the fund to itself, with allocations made by “evaluation boards that were either entirely made up of staff from Mayo county council, or the majority of members on the evaluation board were from Mayo county council”, the local government auditor said.

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Shell names Yujnovich as chair, Smith to lead global trading

MATT CHAMBERS: Resources reporter Melbourne 4 Feb 2017

Shell Australia chairman Andrew Smith has been promoted to lead the oil major’s global trading business and will be replaced in April by the oil giant’s Canadian-based head of oil sands and former Rio Tinto executive Zoe Yujnovich.

Mr Smith, who has been at the helm of Shell Australia since 2013, has been promoted to lead Shell’s Singapore-based trading and supply business as executive vice- president.

During Mr Smith’s tenure, Shell has become the biggest producer of Australian LNG thanks to the Gorgon project in which it has a non-operating stake, and the acquisition of BG Group. Mr Smith played a key role in the deal.

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Shell plans Australian solar plants that can switch to gas

MATT CHAMBERS Resources reporter: Melbourne4 Feb 2017

Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell is looking to invest in Australian solar plants that can switch to gas when needed to deliver baseload power supply as debate rages over renewable energy security in the wake of South Australia’s ­crippling power outages.

Shell, which is Australia’s biggest LNG exporter and one of the world’s largest oil companies, has revealed that Australia was one of three global locations, along with Oman and Brunei, where it was studying pairing renewable energy with gas, after last year flagging “new energies” would be a potential major source of growth for the fossil fuel company beyond 2020.

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Shell playing long game with Prelude FLNG

Shell playing long game with Prelude FLNG

2017-2018 startup date will coincide with LNG glut

By Sally Bogle
3 February 2017

Analysts say the Prelude FLNG facility will be used to boost Shell’s global LNG sales portfolio, rather than to target specific Asian customers, and that it will reap long-term gains for the company despite its 2017-2018 startup date coinciding with a glut of LNG supply.

One of Australia’s last remaining sanctioned greenfield LNG projects yet to be commissioned, Prelude will add to Shell’s stakes in other Australian projects – the North West Shelf, Gorgon, QCLNG and the planned Browse project – and become a strategic resource with which to exploit remote gas fields around the world.

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Shell posts earnings of $3.5 billion in 2016; an 8% slide from $3.8 billion in 2015

Silvia Amaro | @Silvia_Amaro: 2 Feb 2017

Oil major Royal Dutch Shell posted fourth-quarter earnings of $1.0 billion, compared with $1.8 billion for the same quarter a year ago.

Ben van Beurden, chief executive officer of Royal Dutch Shell, said that such earnings figures do not “look good” for investors but he is “very pleased” with the performance for the full year as the company completed its merger with gas utility BG. Shares were 1.5 percent higher in early trade on Thursday.

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Shell boss Ben van Beurden delivered worse than expected full year results

Jillian Ambrose2 FEBRUARY 2017 • 8:55AM

Royal Dutch Shell has dashed investor hopes for a resurgence in profits after reporting disappointing earnings from its exploration and production business.

Europe’s largest oil company was expected to announce full-year profits double those of last year, but instead they fell 8pc to $3.8bn (£2.99bn),  their lowest level in over a decade.

The results came in well below City forecasts. Analysts had been expecting the company to make $8.17bn on a current cost of supplies (CCS) basis, a standard measure of profit in the industry.

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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?

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Shell sells Thailand gas field stake to Kuwait’s Kufpec for $900 million

Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) said on Tuesday it would sell its stake in Thailand’s Bongkot gas field to Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company for $900 million (719.5 million pounds).

The move is the latest stage of the Anglo-Dutch company’s push to reduce debt after buying smaller rival BG Group for $70 billion, bringing its total divestments since April 2015 to 8.7 billion.

The transaction will include Shell’s 22.2-percent equity stake in the Bongkot field and adjoining acreage off the coast of Thailand consisting of Blocks 15, 16 and 17 and Block G12/48, Shell said in a statement.

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Shell Prelude LNG over-promise and under-delivery

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

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

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

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Shell continues evolution by parting with Saudi corporation

By Daniel J. Graeber: Jan. 23, 2017

Royal Dutch Shell said its move to sell off its share in a petrochemical joint venture with a Saudi partner is part of its effort to retool its regional focus.

Shell sold its stake in a joint venture effort to Saudi Basic Industries Corp. for $820 million in a move that solidifies the Dutch supermajor’s shifting priorities in the wake of last year’s acquisition of BG Group.

The agreement marks the end of a joint venture agreement that was set to expire in 2020.

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Shell Exploration Boss To Step Down

January 23, 2017

LONDON (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell’s head of exploration Ceri Powell will step down next month, capping three years in office marked by sharp cutbacks in the company’s search for new oil and gas reserves amid the industry’s deep downturn since mid-2014.

Powell, a geologist who joined Shell in 1990, will depart on February 13 and become managing director of Brunei Shell Petroleum the following month, according to a Shell spokeswoman.

Powell will be replaced by upstream strategy vice president Marc Gerrits, who started his career in Shell in 1986 as an exploration geologist in Australia.

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Ethane Production Is Still Climbing

CASEY JUNKINS: Business/Energy Writer: [email protected]

DILLES BOTTOM — U.S. ethane production is growing so fast that federal officials can barely keep track of it, as last year’s projection of 1.4 million barrels per day by 2017 is now trumped by new prognostications of 1.7 million daily barrels by 2018.

As the new U.S. Energy Information Administration numbers indicate, the need for drillers to disperse this liquid continues to climb, which leads Cal Dooley, president and CEO of the Washington, D.C.-based American Chemistry Council, to believe this creates an environment in which the need for ethane crackers grows.

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Royal Dutch Shell: A Lot Of Debt

Brandon Dempster: Jan 19, 2017

Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) has a sizeable debt wall ahead of them. With nearly $20 billion in debt due over the next five years, this company is going to have to be firing on all cylinders in order to not just meet these principal repayments, but to generate enough cash flow to fund the sizeable dividend, boost capital expenditure per the company’s Q3 2016 guidance, and still remain in positive free cash flow territory. It’s important that investors take a tough look at the debt due this year and understand the company’s current liquidity position.

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Nova Scotia offshore oil and gas ‘doesn’t look good’ after Shell seals 2 wells

By Michael Tutton, The Canadian Press Posted: Jan 18, 2017 5:12 PM

Shell’s decision to seal two exploration wells off Nova Scotia has set back the province’s dream of offshore riches, but analysts say it’s early days in what may prove to be a complex geological hunt.

Wade Locke, a resource economist at Memorial University says Shell’s confirmation this week it’s abandoning the Monterey Jack well, along with news its Cheshire deepwater well did not have commercial quantities of oil, are not confidence boosters.

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Oil majors, car makers to push hydrogen technology to help cut emissions

Ben van Beurden, chief executive officer of Royal Dutch Shell, speaks during a news conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, February 15, 2016. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes

The heads of some of the world’s biggest oil firms and automakers agreed on Tuesday to push for broader global use and bigger investments in using hydrogen to help reduce emissions and arrest global warming.

The oil firms’ and car makers’ chiefs said the plan was part of global efforts to keep global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius, an ambitious goal agreed by 195 countries in Paris in 2015.

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Opec outflanked

By Ed Crooks of the Finacial Times: January 13, 2017

In the 1930s many newspapers carried impressively detailed diagrams showing France’s defences along the German border, described by Popular Mechanix and Inventions magazine as the “world’s greatest underground fortifications”. By the end of May 1940, Hitler had demonstrated that while the Maginot Line might indeed be an engineering marvel, it was also irrelevant, as his panzer divisions swept past it through Belgium and into France. Last year’s agreement between leading oil-producing countries to curb their output had something of the same feel about it this week.

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Royal Dutch Shell plc: Employees Speak Up

Published By: Myrna Salomon on January 6, 2017 10:52 am EST

Oil & gas companies have been in a celebratory sentiment since OPEC meeting in Vienna last year; the results of the meeting led to a wave of optimism in the global energy market. Energy majors around the world are now looking to increase their exploration and production (E&P) activities.

The past couple of years have dented financial profiles of oil & gas companies, given the low crude environment and economic slowdown. However, the latest rally in the oil prices has come as a golden opportunity for energy giants to mitigate their losses.

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Oil Prices

Extracts from a weekly briefing by Ed Crooks: January 6, 2017

In our predictions for 2016, we were right that oil would end the year over $50 – modesty forbids me from mentioning which writer made that forecast – but missed that an agreement between Opec and non-Opec producers would be one of the factors underpinning the price. For 2017 Anjli Raval made the call, arguing that crude was again likely to end the year above $50, on the grounds that a lower price would still be too low to enable sufficient investment in production to meet demand.

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Shell wells come up dry in Tanzania

Written by Mark Lammey – 29/12/2016 11:31 am

Two exploration wells drilled on blocks operated by Shell off Tanzania have come up dry.

One of Shell’s project partners, London-listed Ophir Energy, said the Kitatange and Bunju wells in blocks one and four had been drilled safely and on time.

But no hydrocarbons were found, according to Ophir, which holds 20% interests in the assets.

Shell has held 60% of the licences since its takeover of BP Group, while Pavilion Energy holds 20%.

The Noble Globetrotter 2 rig has been demobilised from site, Ophir said.

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‘’EVs, Solar Could Push Oil Down To $10 By 2025’’

By Charles Kennedy – Dec 20, 2016, 4:38 PM CST

That prediction comes from Engie SA’s innovation chief, Thierry Lepercq, who says that oil demand will be hit on multiple fronts. He lays out five tsunamis: solar power, battery storage, electric vehicles, “smart” buildings, and cheap hydrogen. “Even if oil demand continues to climb until 2025, its price could drop to $10 if markets anticipate a significant fall in demand,” Lepercq told Bloomberg in an interview. Solar, battery storage, electrical and hydrogen vehicles, and connected devices are in a ‘J’ curve,” he added. “Hydrogen is the missing link in a 100 percent renewable-energy system, but technological bricks already exist.”

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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.”

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Obama Bans Drilling in Parts of the Atlantic and the Arctic

By CORAL DAVENPORT

President Obama announced on Tuesday what he called a permanent ban on offshore oil and gas drilling along wide areas of the Arctic and the Atlantic Seaboard as he tried to nail down an environmental legacy that cannot quickly be reversed by Donald J. Trump.

Mr. Obama invoked an obscure provision of a 1953 law, the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, which he said gives him the authority to act unilaterally. While some presidents have used that law to temporarily protect smaller portions of federal waters, Mr. Obama’s declaration of a permanent drilling ban on portions of the ocean floor from Virginia to Maine and along much of Alaska’s coast is breaking new ground. The declaration’s fate will almost certainly be decided by the federal courts.

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Obama sets stage for legal fight over Arctic oil drilling

by: Shawn Donnan in Washington and Andrew Ward in London: 21 December 2016

US President Barack Obama has set the stage for a legal battle over drilling for oil and gas in Arctic seas after declaring a huge swath of those waters “indefinitely” off limits to exploration as part of a joint move with Canada.

Royal Dutch Shell, long at the forefront of exploration in Alaska, abandoned its drilling campaign there in 2015 after failing to strike oil. The Anglo-Dutch group had spent $7bn in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas since 2007, or about 20 per cent of its exploration budget.

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BP buys, while Shell sells: a recap of recent deal making by the majors

Written by Mark Lammey – 20/12/2016 6:00 am

While Shell has been selling assets to make good on its $30billion divestment plan for 2016-18, BP has flashed the cash with a number of big investments.

Shell said yesterday that it had raised $1.65billion (£1.33billion) in asset sales, while rival oil major BP has revealed plans to invest heavily on African licences.

Shell will make $1.4billion from the sale of a 31.2% stake in refiner Showa Shell Sekiyu to Japan’s Idemitsu Kosan, the firm said yesterday.

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Shell to sell Australian aviation fuels unit to Viva Energy

Shell to sell Australian aviation fuels unit to Viva Energy

by Angela Macdonald-Smith: 19 December 2016

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

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

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

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UK police spied on us, protesters tell inquiry

Shell to Sea, an environmental protest group, claims it was infiltrated by a British officer between 2004 and 2006: MARK STEDMAN/PHOTOCALL IRELAND

By:  Ellen Coyne – The Times

A Mayo protest group that claims it was spied on by a British police officer has asked to be included in a UK inquiry into undercover practices.

Shell to Sea, an environmental activist group that protested against the Corrib gas pipeline, believes it was infiltrated by Mark Kennedy when he was in the Republic.

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Shell to offload Dragon gas port

Danny Fortson: December 18 2016: The Sunday Times

Shell has begun quietly sounding out potential buyers for its share of a giant gas- import complex in west Wales.

The FTSE 100 company owns half of Dragon LNG, a terminal at Milford Haven that reheats super-chilled liquid natural gas after it is delivered by tankers. The site has the capacity to provide 10% of Britain’s gas needs.

Petronas, Malaysia’s state oil producer, owns the other half and is likely to have first right of refusal. Dragon is yet another asset that has been put up for sale by Shell, which has pledged to raise $30bn (£24bn) through a global disposal programme to offset the cost of its takeover of rival BG.

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Corruption of Police by Shell

Corruption of Police by Shell

Printed below is an extract from a current submission to The Pitchford Inquiry by the Shell to Sea organisation in Ireland. As can be seen, it very much involves Shell.

The Pitchford Inquiry is investigating undercover policing activities in England and Wales. Pressure is mounting to also cover the activities of undercover British police in Ireland.

EXTRACT FROM THE SUBMISSION

Corruption of Police by Shell

In March 2013 Shell to Sea  contacted a reporter in the London-based Observer newspaper regarding a series of allegations which had appeared consistently since September 2012 on a website co-founded by John Donovan and his late father Alfred, available at www.royaldutchshellplc.com. It took from March until publication on 11 August to research and legal-proof the article written by award-winning journalist Ed Vuillamy                            (http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/may/18/ed-vulliamy-ryszard-kapuscinski-award) under the heading ‘Strange tale of Shell’s pipeline battle, the Gardaí and £30,000 of booze’. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/10/shell-pipeline-protests-county-mayo  While the reportage of alcohol provision to the police came as no surprise, we find the claim made by Mr Neil Rooney of OSSL as quoted below to be, indeed, sinister:

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Fitzgerald should seek answers on undercover British police in Ireland

By:  Shell to Sea

Open Letter to the Irish Minister of Justice, Francis Fitzgerald

Shell to Sea are calling for the Minister of Justice, Francis Fitzgerald to seek that the inquiry into the behaviour of undercover British police (entitled the Pitchford Inquiry) be extended to include the activities of undercover police in Ireland.

The Pitchford Inquiry is so far only investigating undercover policing activities in England and Wales, however the German Government, the Scottish Government and Northern Ireland’s Justice Minister, Claire Sugden have all called for the remit of the inquiry to be widen to include the activities of the undercover British police in their jurisdictions.

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Shell finance chief Simon Henry to leave after 30 years with the oil major

Caitlin Morrison deputy digital editor at City A.M: Thursday 15 December 2016 8:47am

Royal Dutch Shell announced today that finance chief Simon Henry will step down in March 2017, to be replaced by Jessica Uhl.

Henry – who was appointed to the Lloyds Bank board in 2014 – has been with Shell for over 30 years, and has been chief financial officer for seven.

“I have been privileged to spend the past 34 years working with great colleagues, in a great company,” said Henry.

“Together we have made a difference in an industry that really matters to so many people around the world. I wish Jessica every success in the role, and am confident that she and Shell will deliver a world class investment, in the most responsible and sustainable way.”

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