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Posts under ‘Oil Sands’

Canadian Natural Resources Limited Got a Steal of a Deal

Matt DiLallo | March 14, 2017

Canadian Natural Resources Limited (TSX:CNQ)(NYSE:CNQ) made a big splash last week when it signed agreements to acquire several oil sands assets from Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A)(NYSE:RDS.B) and Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE:MRO).

Overall, the Canadian oil giant paid a massive $12.74 billion to bulk up its position in western Canada, which marked the largest acquisition in the company’s history. However, what was more impressive about the deal wasn’t the size of the purchase price, but the size of the discount the company got on the assets, which was well below the replacement cost.

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Shell’s sale of dirty tar sands assets cleans up debt and spruces image

Adam VaughanSaturday 11 March 2017 15.59 GMT

hen Shell sold most of its Canadian tar sands operations last week, the Anglo-Dutch oil company took a modest step towards making good on its promise to be part of the solution on global warming, rather than the problem. But the $7.25bn (£6bn) sale of the majority of its tar sands assets to an independent Canadian oil company is less about the company cleaning up its image than about cleaning up its debt.

FULL ARTICLE

Shell sells out of the oilsands. Was it climate or costs?

By Tracy Johnson, CBC News Posted: Mar 09, 2017 4:17 PM ET

Royal Dutch Shell’s deal to sell most of its stake in Alberta’s oilsands was in the works for more than a year, says the company’s chief executive Ben van Beurden.

“We said we would high-grade the portfolio,” he said at the CERAWeek energy conference in Houston.

“We would get out of positions where we do not have the scale or the capability, or that did not fit us in the longer run strategically. And the oilsands is one of them.”

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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 cuts debt with US$7.25 billion sale of Canada oil sands

9 March 2017

TORONTO (BLOOMBERG) – Royal Dutch Shell will sell almost all its production assets in Canada’s oil sands in a US$7.25 billion (S$10.24 billion) deal that cuts debt and reduces involvement in one of the most environmentally damaging forms of fossil-fuel extraction.

The company will sell all of its oil-sands interests apart from a 10 per cent stake in the Athabasca Oil Sands mining project, The Hague-based Shell said on Thursday (March 9). It will also continue as operator of the Scotford upgrader and Quest carbon capture and storage project.

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Shell “knew of climate change danger” since 1991 – Greenpeace response

Published by Greenpeace Southeast Asia: Thursday 2 March 2017

A film in 1991, produced by Shell, shows that the oil giant has long known about the catastrophic risks of climate change.

The film, titled Climate of Concern, was obtained by the Correspondent, a Dutch online journalism platform, and published in The Guardian’s article ‘Shell knew’: oil giant’s 1991 film warned of climate change danger.

In response, Desiree Llanos Dee, Climate Justice Campaigner for Greenpeace Philippines, said:

“Exxon knew. Shell knew. Now we must get to the bottom of what other fossil majors know and what they plan to do to avert catastrophic climate change. Shell’s empty rhetoric on climate is wholly contradicted by the core assumption underlying its business plans – global temperature increases in excess of 3°C and its lobbying against measures to mitigate climate change.

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In A 1991 Film, Shell Oil Issued A Stark Warning About Climate Change Risks

WASHINGTON — “Action now is seen as the only safe insurance.” 

That was among the many clear warnings that oil giant Shell issued in a film it produced about climate change more than 25 years ago. Many environmentalists, however, argue that the company has largely ignored its own alarm bells.

The 1991 film, “Climate of Concern,” resurfaced Tuesday on the Dutch online news outlet The Correspondent. It’s the latest in an ever-growing body of evidence that suggests the oil industry has long known about the climate risks associated with carbon dioxide emissions — and has actively worked to cover them up.

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‘Shell knew’: oil giant’s 1991 film warned of climate change danger

Damian Carrington and Jelmer Mommers: Tuesday 28 February 2017 

The oil giant Shell issued a stark warning of the catastrophic risks of climate change more than a quarter of century ago in a prescient 1991 film that has been rediscovered. However, since then the company has invested heavily in highly polluting oil reserves and helped lobby against climate action, leading to accusations that Shell knew the grave risks of global warming but did not act accordingly. But, despite this early and clear-eyed view of the risks of global warming, Shell invested many billions of dollars in highly polluting tar sand operations and on exploration in the Arctic.

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Shell Shuns New Oil-Sands Projects as Low Prices Force Cost Control

by Rakteem Katakey: 27 February 2017, 14:52 GMT

Royal Dutch Shell Plc is unlikely to take on new oil-sands projects as it maintains a grip on costs after crude’s crash forced competitors to write down Canadian reserves.

While Shell’s existing oil-sands operations generate strong cash flows, the expense of developing new projects discourages additional investments, Chief Executive Officer Ben Van Beurden said in an interview.

Oil sands, the reserves of heavy crude found primarily in northern Alberta, lured investors in the past decade as oil’s surge above $100 a barrel made the difficult extraction process economic. But they’ve fallen out of favor following the subsequent market collapse as companies dump expensive projects amid fears that competition from low-cost crude could strand costlier assets.

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Alberta power company buys half-built Shell oil sands power plant

February 17, 2017

CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) – Kineticor, a small privately held power producer, has partnered with one of Canada’s largest pension funds to buy a half-finished oil sands power plant in northern Alberta that was part of an abandoned Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) project, the company said on Friday.

Alberta-based Kineticor said it had closed the acquisition of the partially constructed 690 megawatt cogeneration plant near Peace River that was part of Shell’s 80,000 barrel per day Carmon Creek project.

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Statoil joins Shell and other foreign companies exiting Canadian projects

Posted by Mark Young:15 Feb 2017

Norway’s oil and gas powerhouse Statoil ASA has finalised its exit from the Canadian oilsands and is by no means alone in a list of high-profile internationally-based operators to agree a sale of Canadian upstream assets during the past 12 months.

Statoil (Oslo:STL) is selling its interest in the Kai Kos Denseh project to Athabasca Oil Corp. (TSX:ATH) for an initial Cdn$578 million. Analysis of this transaction can be found here.

Other significant sales agreed upon in 2016 by non-Canadian companies include:

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Shell reprimanded for federal voting infractions at Fort McMurray mine

Shell reprimanded for federal voting infractions at Fort McMurray mine

Some workers at the Shell Albian Sands site were denied their right to vote on polling day

CBC News Posted: Jan 05, 2017 8:41 AM MT

Shell has been reprimanded by Elections Canada for failing to provide some of its Fort McMurray oilsands workers adequate time off to vote in the 2015 federal election.

The oilsands operator has signed a compliance agreement with Elections Canada, after a federal investigation determined that some workers who requested time off the job to go to the polls were denied.

On polling day, Oct. 19, the company declined employee requests for time off work, meaning some employees at the Shell Albian Sands Mine were denied their right to have three consecutive hours off the job for the purpose of casting a vote.

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Big Oil Slowly Adapts to a Warming World

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By CLIFFORD KRAUSSNOV. 3, 2016

In a warming world, Big Oil doesn’t look quite so big anymore.

A global glut of oil and natural gas has sent prices tumbling over the last two years, and profits are evaporating. Improving auto fuel efficiency standards threaten to depress oil consumption eventually, and fleets of electric vehicles are gradually emerging in China and a few other important markets.

Perhaps most troubling for oil companies over the long term is the goal — agreed to last December by virtually every country in the world at a climate conference in Paris — of staving off a rise in average global temperatures of more than 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels.

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Lament for Royal Dutch Shell

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Kashagan AKA “Cash All Gone”

Forgot the initial cost estimate, probably around $8-10 billion. Now 10+ years too late and ballooned to $50 billionMost normal companies would have gone bust long ago.

Shell inherited some beauties from the boys of the roaring 90s. I hope someone will write a book one day on this era. 

Reserve crisis, Pearl, Sakhalin, Kashagan, Alaska, tarsands, and I must have forgotten a few. Repeated over-promise and under-delivery. All many billions over budget, extreme overruns in startup, loss in AAA status, removal of operational and technical expertise. I find the silence on Prelude ominous. Probably goes the same way as the others.

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First carbon capture project in oilsands passes one million tonne milestone

screen-shot-2016-09-14-at-18-38-44The company, which developed the $1.35-billion Quest project with the help of $745 million from the Alberta government and $120 million from Ottawa, says the project is operating ahead of schedule and under budget.

“There isn’t a metric that hasn’t finished very strongly in green,” said Zoe Yujnovich, executive vice-president for heavy oil at Shell.

“I don’t think we can say that about many projects.”

The Quest project is designed to capture about a third of the emissions from Shell’s Scotford Upgrader near Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., turn that into a near-liquid, and then pump it over two kilometres underground into porous rock formations.

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Shell begins production at world’s deepest underwater oilfield

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Simon BowersSunday 11 September 2016 17.15 BST

Royal Dutch Shell has started production at the world’s deepest underwater oil and gas field, 1.8 miles beneath the sea surface in the Gulf of Mexico.

The latest costly addition to Shell’s production capacity comes despite Van Beurden’s repeated pledges on climate change. In May, he said: “We know our long-term success … depends on our ability to anticipate the types of energy that people will need in the future in a way that is both commercially competitive and environmentally sound.”

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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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Why I’m expecting Royal Dutch Shell plc and BP plc to plummet!

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By Royston WildThe Motley Fool: Friday, 2 September, 2016

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Investor appetite for the oil segment has taken a knock in recent weeks as fears of a prolonged supply glut have weighed.

British majors Royal Dutch Shell(LSE: RDSB) and BP(LSE: BP) have seen their share prices slip 10% and 7% respectively during the past six weeks, for example. And I believe a sharper retracement could be just around the corner.

Stocks keep surging

Broker predictions that the oil market is set to balance later this year are being put under increased scrutiny as already-plentiful stockpiles continue to build.

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Shell Looking Beyond Petroleum

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There are many players looking to enter the oil markets thanks to the raft of deals available as the oil price crash appears to be over. For the oil majors, this will likely mean major opportunities to snap up unconventional producers and assets at low valuations. One “oil” major that may not be participating is Shell. The Anglo-Dutch oil giant is increasingly turning away from its roots in oil and moving towards natural gas as an alternative.

In the year 2000, 37 percent of Shell’s production was from natural gas. By 2015, that number had risen to 49 percent. For ExxonMobil, those figures were 40 percent in 2000 and 43 percent in 2015. For Chevron and BP, the 2000 figures were 27 percent and 40 percent respectively, and for 2015, it was 33 percent and 38 percent. Among oil majors, only ConocoPhillips has seen a comparable shift to gas going form 33 percent to 43 percent gas production between 2000 and 2015.

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Oil Giants Find There’s Nowhere to Hide From Doomsday Market

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By Joe CarrollJuly 29, 2016 — 1:02 PM BST: Updated on July 30, 2016 — 5:01 AM BST

Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell Plc this week reported their lowest quarterly profits since 1999 and 2005, respectively. Chevron Corp.’s third straight loss marked the longest slump in 27 years, and BP Plc lodged its lowest refining margins in six years.

Welcome to year two of a supply overhang so persistent it’s upsetting industry expectations that the market would return to a state of balance between production and demand. It’s left analysts befuddled and investors running to the doorways as the crude market threatened to tip into yet another bear market, dashing hopes that a slump that began in mid 2014 would show signs of abating.

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Oil price drops to three-month low on oversupply fears

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25 July 2016

Oil prices have fallen to a three-month low, hit by rising concerns that a global oversupply of both crude and natural gas will dampen prices.

US oil fell 2.4% to $43.11 (£32.72) a barrel, its lowest level since April, meaning it has now fallen by 12% so far this month.

Brent crude dropped 2.1% to $44.75, its lowest level since 10 May.

Shares in oil and firms also lost ground, with Exxon Mobil shares down 1.8% and Chevron down 2.6%.

“Crude oil markets have been under pressure as oil supplies have started growing with the resumption of output from the capacity lost due to wildfires in the Canadian oil sands,” said EY energy analyst Sanjeev Gupta.

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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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Shell’s Saudi Aramco Option

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Cheap oil crimping your spending plans? Sitting on a bunch of valuable upstream oil assets that could be monetized? How about a mammoth IPO? No, not Saudi Arabia. I’m talking about Royal Dutch Shell.

Shell is Europe’s third-biggest company by market value. But after the $54 billion acquisition of BG Group, its net debt is by far the largest: an eye-watering $70 billion.

Big Borrowers

Shell’s net debt is the largest of any company in western Europe

CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE

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The Anglo-Dutch company says debt is likely “to go up before it goes down” and its reduction is “priority number one”. With credit-rating agencies on its case, Shell has to deliver on a pledge to divest $30 billion of non-core assets within three years.

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Royal Dutch Shell Faces Criticism From Glass Lewis on Payment Plans

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Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A) has faced huge criticism from Glass Lewis, a shareholder advisory firm to award its CEO Ben Van Beurden with a huge bonus in 2015. The shareholder advisory firm further persuaded the shareholders of the oil giant to cast their vote against the payment plans of the company.

As reported by the Wall Street Journal, Glass Lewis said in a report: “We remain concerned by the disconnect between bonus payouts and financial performance. We find it troubling that the CEO continues to receive payouts at just short of maximum while the company’s financials deteriorate.”

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Shell Canada reopens first oilsands mine shut down by Fort McMurray fires

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By DAN HEALING: The Canadian Press: Tues., May 10, 2016

CALGARY—The first oilsands mine shut down by wildfires in the Fort McMurray region a week ago has been restarted.

Shell Canada said Tuesday that it had resumed production at its Albian Sands mining operations about 95 kilometres north of Fort McMurray after a seven-day closure.

The operations, which include the Muskeg River and Jackpine oilsands mines, have the capacity to produce 255,000 barrels of oil a day, but Shell would say only that they were operating at a reduced rate.

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Shell restarts some production at Alberta oil sands project

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Royal Dutch Shell Plc has restarted production at a reduced rate at its Albian oil sands mining operation in Alberta, it said on Monday, even as many energy companies remain offline after a major wildfire ravaged the area.

The company said it will fly in and fly out staff to help resume operations over the coming days and weeks. Locally based employees may choose to support operations only if they are willing and available, it said.

(Reporting by Jeffrey Hodgson; Editing by Sandra Maler)

SOURCE

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Fort McMurray reflections by Ed Crooks of the FT

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By Ed Crooks: May 6, 2016

The thoughts of everyone in the energy industry were with Fort McMurray, the heart of Canada’s oil sands industry, which was devastated by wildfires this week. The town was evacuated, and more than a fifth of the region’s oil production was halted. There was a lot of great reporting from the local and national press. The National Post particularly stood out with features such as this live map of the areas affected by fire. Maclean’s brought the scale of the fires to people outside Alberta using comparisons with other cities in Canada, the US and Britain. NBC News carried some powerful photographs of the disaster.

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Canadian Crude Prices Surge as Fire Hits Shell, Suncor Output

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  • Oil-sands output may be down by 1 million barrels a day: RBC

  • Suncor, Shell, Husky, ConocoPhillips cut production amid blaze

By Robert Tuttle and Rebecca Penty: May 6, 2016

The worst wildfire in Alberta history is boosting Canadian crude prices as oil companies evacuate workers and shut in as much as 1 million barrels a day of output.

Western Canadian Select, the benchmark for oil sands production, strengthened $1 to an $11.85-a-barrel discount to U.S. West Texas Intermediate on Thursday, the narrowest spread since July, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The absolute price rose $1.54 to $32.47 a barrel.

Suncor Energy Inc., Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Husky Energy Inc. are among companies that shut plants or reduced production. Cnooc Ltd.’s Nexen, ConocoPhillips, Imperial Oil Ltd. and Statoil ASA were also affected. The shutdowns follow supply disruptions in places like Nigeria and Iraq earlier this year that have helped global prices rebound from a 12-year low.

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Royal Dutch Shell closes some Canadian ops as wildfire consumes 1600 buildings

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by Topher Seguin

A massive wildfire that has forced the evacuation of all 88,000 residents of the western Canadian city of Fort McMurray and burned down 1,600 structures has the potential to destroy much of the town, authorities said.

Fort McMurray had been largely emptied of its residents by Wednesday afternoon, officials said, despite fuel shortages, snarled traffic and a highway closed by the flames in the northeastern part of the province of Alberta, the heart of Canada’s oil sands region.

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Oil giants should ditch high-cost projects, thinktank says

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Terry Macalister Energy editor: Thursday 5 May 2016

These leading energy companies including Exxon Mobil should ditch high-cost projects in deep water and Canadian tar sands to concentrate on cheaper schemes that make money at low crude prices, says the report, Sense and Sensitivity, by the Carbon Tracker Initiative.

The report follows shareholder resolutions calling on oil companies to undertake “stress tests” on operations in the face of stronger carbon regulation and weakening fossil fuel demand as countries move to lower-carbon economies.

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Fort McMurray Fire: Shell Turns Oilsands Camp Into Shelter For Evacuees

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CP  |  By The Canadian Press: 05/04/2016 1:02 pm EDT

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 13.50.03CALGARY — The wildfire raging through the heart of Canada’s oilsands capital dealt a blow Wednesday to crude perations, with Shell Canada closing a major mining facility north of Fort McMurray, Alta.

The company temporarily shut down production at its Albian Sands mining operations located about 70 kilometres north of the city.

Shell said it made the decision to focus on getting employees and their families out of the region while also freeing up room at its 2,000-person work camp for some of the 80,000 people who were ordered evacuated Tuesday from Fort McMurray.

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Shell finance chief refuses to rule out further North Sea job losses

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Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 15.56.32Written by Phil Allan – 04/05/2016 12:34 pm

Shell’s finance chief has refused to rule out further job losses in the North Sea as the oil giant announced its earnings had dropped by $4billion dollars in the first quarter of 2016.

Chief financial officer Simon Henry said the voluntary redundancy packaged announced recently announced as a result of Shell’s acquisition of BG Group, may not be the last to affect the North Sea as the company continues to look at cut costs from its global operation.

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An oilman’s $7 billion refresher course in the economics of drilling and climate change

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To many analysts, it looked like Odum was pushed into leaving.

Steven Mufson March 11, 2016

Marvin Odum, president of Shell Oil, was attending a meeting of the parent company’s executive committee in Singapore when word trickled in that an exploration well drilled in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea — the crowning step in a multi-year $7 billion quest — was a dry hole.

Maybe not bone dry. In a recent interview, Odum wouldn’t say. But in the oil business glossary, a dry hole is one that can’t pay off commercially, and Shell’s hole definitely qualified. The parent company, Royal Dutch Shell, abruptly dropped any further drilling — a setback for the industry, though a relief for environmentalists.

For years, they had fought a vigorous, litigious and politically intense battle over the Chukchi. Meanwhile Shell, lured by potentially rich rewards, had overcome a couple of embarrassing rig mishaps at sea and patiently navigated the courts and the Obama administration’s permitting process. Now, geology had rendered its verdict.

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Shell boss Ben van Beurden bags a bigger bonus despite falling oil price

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RUSSELL LYNCH: 10 MARCH 2016

Royal Dutch Shell boss Ben van Beurden got a bigger bonus in 2015 — up 6% to €3.5 million (£2.7 million) — even though a tumbling oil price sank the shares by 30% last year.

The chief executive landed an overall pay deal of £5.6 million — although this was lower than 2014, when his package was swollen to €24.2 million by tax handouts and pension payments on taking the helm at the oil major.

Shell’s latest annual report showed his 2015 basic pay up to €1.47 million, but his annual bonus rising from €3.3 million to €3.5 million for a year in which van Beurden masterminded the oil giant’s mega-merger with rival BG.

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The Allure Of Shale Is Wearing Off

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Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 08.47.47By Nick CunninghamThu, 25 February 2016

Royal Dutch Shell revealed its plans to downgrade its emphasis on expensive shale operations, although it was not worded in those terms.

The Anglo-Dutch supermajor says that it would fold its “unconventional” unit (i.e. shale) into its broader upstream business. Shell also announced that Mavin Odum, long-time top official from the North American arm of Royal Dutch Shell, will retire after more than three decades at the company.

The two announcements are consistent with Shell’s decision to takeover BG, which was a large bet on LNG and offshore oil plays, particularly in Brazil and Australia. It is also evidence that Shell is deemphasizing its attention and resources on North America, where it has placed several costly bets that have soured. In 2013, Shell cancelled plans to build a $20 billion gas-to-liquids plant in Louisiana. In 2014, Shell sold off shale acreage in Texas, Colorado, and Kansas, according to Reuters, while also divesting itself of Pennsylvania and Louisiana shale gas assets.

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Alaska failure not behind exit – Shell’s outgoing U.S. chief

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Royal Dutch Shell’s (RDSa.L) costly flameout in Alaska last year was “a huge disappointment,” but did not push top North American executive Marvin Odum to exit the company, he said.

Odum made the comments hours after the company announced he would leave next month after 34 years.

“This should not be interpreted as, ‘Alaska didn’t work, so Marvin’s leaving,” Odum, 57, said in an interview.

Instead, he said he decided it was time to move on after heading Shell Oil Co, the Anglo-Dutch company’s U.S arm, since 2008. He later became head of exploration and production operations in the Americas as well.

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Arctic Was a Bet That Didn’t Pay Off, Departing Shell Chief Says

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Jennifer A Dlouhy: Bloomberg.com: 24 FEB 2016

The departing chief of Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s U.S. division, who presided over its failed quest to find crude in Arctic waters off Alaska, said the effort was still a point of pride because it demonstrated the company’s technical expertise.

Marvin Odum, 57, is leaving the company in a reorganization announced Wednesday. He has been with the company for 34 years and held the post atop its U.S. division, Shell Oil Co., since oil prices were at record highs.

The Arctic was “a big bet,” Odum said in a telephone interview Wednesday. 

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Shell replaces U.S. chief, splits unconventionals unit

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HOUSTON | BY KRISTEN HAYS AND RON BOUSSO: Wed Feb 24, 2016 3:42pm EST

Royal Dutch Shell’s U.S. head Marvin Odum will step down after the company abandoned a troubled drilling project offshore Alaska, and the global oil company said on Wednesday it will split up its U.S. shale and Canadian oil sands unit.

Stung by a 70 percent slide in crude prices since mid-2014, Shell this month reported its lowest annual income in more than a decade and pledged further cost saving measures.

The Anglo-Dutch company said on Wednesday its shale resources unit would become part of the global upstream business led by Andy Brown, and its Athabasca Oil Sands Project and Scotford Upgrader in Canada would be folded into the global downstream unit, headed by John Abbott.

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Royal Dutch Shell’s Management Wants You to Know These 5 Key Things

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Royal Dutch Shell’s Management Wants You to Know These 5 Key Things

Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 08.55.47Last quarter was a pretty rough one for Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS-A) (NYSE:RDS-B). The company was forced to take more than $7.9 billion in charges to the income statement to write down some abandoned development projects, and its oil and gas production in the Americas continues to be a bit of a headache. 

Management was well aware of how these results looked, and so on its most recent conference call its executives acknowledged these weaknesses but also had some things to say that any investor in Shell should be aware of. Here are five quotes from the most recent conference call that provide some juicy tidbits into how to view this company over the long term.

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Shell Has Underperformed, But It Could Be The Only Oil Major That Emerges Bigger From The Downturn

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Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 08.55.47…the company’s profits plummeted 70% from last year to $1.77 billion…

Sarfaraz A. Khan: Sunday, Dec 6, 2015

Summary

  • The oil major Royal Dutch Shell is closing in on its biggest-ever merger with the UK based oil and gas producer BG Group.
  • Shell has been the worst performing stock in its peer group and now offers an above average yield of 7.8%.
  • But Shell is generating enough cash from operations and asset sales to cover its spending.
  • More importantly, Shell could be the only oil major that emerges even bigger from the downturn.

The oil major Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS.A) (NYSE:RDS.B) is closing in on its biggest ever merger with the UK based oil and gas producer BG Group (OTCQX:BRGYY). On Wednesday, the Anglo-Dutch oil producer revealed that it has received a green signal from Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board following an approval from the country’s anti-trust regulator received last month. The BG Group is one of the major players in Australia’s rising LNG sector where the company has invested more than $20 billion on developing the Queensland Curtis LNG plant.

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Shell Forced to Scale Back Ambitions

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Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 08.55.47By James StaffordThu, 26 November 2015

As with most oil companies, 2015 has been a rough year for Royal Dutch Shell. The Anglo-Dutch company reported a third quarter loss of $6 billion, which included $7.9 billion in impairment charges.

During its third quarter earnings call, Shell’s CEO Ben van Beurden summed up the company’s strategy, emphasizing restraint. “Grow to simplify” is how he put it. What that means in practice is scrapping the Arctic campaign; pulling out of the expensive Carmon Creek oil sands project in Canada; shedding assets in the less desirable parts of North American shale; selling assets elsewhere around the world, including Nigeria; and focusing on its merger with BG, which is a big bet on LNG.

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Lorraine Mitchelmore is stepping down as the head of Shell Canada. But she’s not going quietly.

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Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 08.55.47NOVEMBER 18, 2015 10:20 AM

Extracts

Shell has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent per barrel from its oilsands business in the past five years, through many small efforts, including making more efficient use of its trucks.

Yet that hasn’t stopped Shell from being a target and paying a high price for the anti-oilsands campaign.

Last month it cancelled the 80,000-barrels-a-day Carmon Creek oilsands project in Peace River in mid-construction, taking a $2-billion impairment charge.

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Shell share price: Canada boss leaves company

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Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 08.03.29by Veselin ValchevTuesday, 17 Nov 2015, 11:18 GMT

Royal Dutch Shell Plc (LON:RDSA) announced yesterday that the boss of the firm’s Canada division, Lorraine Mitchelmore, is stepping down from the company at the end of 2015, following six years at the helm.

The move comes less than a month after the Anglo-Dutch oil major abandoned its 80,000 barrel per day Carmon Creek thermal oil sands project in Alberta, amid a reshuffle of the firm’s portfolio.

A spokesman for Shell Canada said Mitchelmore’s departure had nothing to do with the decision to shelve Carmon Creek.

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HERE FIRST TEN DAYS AGO: Lorraine Mitchelmore Fired

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Michael Crothers at Shell E&P Ireland Limited

By John Donovan

On 7 November, we published the first news of the firing of Lorraine Mitchelmore, the President and Country Chair of Shell Canada.

The information, which came from a Shell insider source, was posted on our Shell Blog under the alias of “Manny”

The departure of Lorraine Mitchelmore has been confirmed today by the mainstream media, 10 days later.

She claims that she was not sacked, but stepped down to spend more time with her children. 

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Lorraine Mitchelmore, head of Shell’s Canadian division, stepping down

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The Canadian Press

Published Monday, November 16, 2015 4:00PM EST

CALGARY — The head of Royal Dutch Shell’s Canadian operations is leaving her job at the end of this year.

Lorraine Mitchelmore has been Shell Canada’s president and country chair for past six years and has led the global energy giant’s heavy oil business for three.

Mitchelmore says she decided to move on in order to spend more time with her two daughters, the youngest of whom is in Grade 6.

She says her next career steps will involve contributing to Canada’s prosperity by serving on select boards.

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Are the Oil Sands Going Bust?

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Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 07.55.40Written by Keith KohlPosted November 12, 2015 at 6:51PM

After backing out of an Arctic drilling program, Shell is taking yet another hit by leaving the Canadian oil-sands in Alberta.

To put it simply: the losses were too great.

There was no way Shell would have been able to stay competitive, so it decided to opt out, taking a $2 billion hit in the process.

As you know, the slump in crude oil prices since the summer of 2014 has caused energy companies to re-think upcoming projects.

Shell’s absence leaves at least 18 future projects on hold.

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Shell share price: Company not giving up on oil sands

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by Veselin ValchevWednesday, 11 Nov 2015

Royal Dutch Shell Plc (LON:RDSA) boss Ben van Beurden said last week that the withdrawal from the Carmon Creek thermal oil sands project in Alberta, Canada, does not mean that the Anglo-Dutch oil major has given up on oil sands in general.

Shell’s chief executive noted that the company rates investment opportunities on a project-by-project basis. In contrast to Carmon Creek needing oil prices at about $70 per barrel to break even, van Beurden remarked that Shell’s Fort McMurray oil sands project has operational costs of only $25 per barrel.

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Citing Climate Change, Obama Rejects Construction of Keystone XL Oil Pipeline

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President Obama is the first world leader to reject a project because of its effect on the climate,” said Bill McKibben, founder of the activist group 350.org, which led the campaign against the pipeline. “That gives him new stature as an environmental leader, and it eloquently confirms the five years and millions of hours of work that people of every kind put into this fight.”

By CORAL DAVENPORT: NOV. 6, 2015

WASHINGTON — President Obama announced on Friday that he had rejected the request from a Canadian company to build the Keystone XL oil pipeline, ending a seven-year review that had become a symbol of the debate over his climate policies.

Mr. Obama’s denial of the proposed 1,179-mile pipeline, which would have carried 800,000 barrels a day of carbon-heavy petroleum from the Canadian oil sands to the Gulf Coast, comes as he seeks to build an ambitious legacy on climate change.

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Shell Canada carbon capture likely last to get Alberta subsidies

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Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 07.55.40CALGARY, ALBERTA | BY MIKE DE SOUZACommodities | Thu Nov 5, 2015 9:01pm GMT

Royal Dutch Shell’s launch on Friday of Canada’s first oil sands project to capture and bury carbon emissions – assisted by generous public subsidies – will likely be the last to get such funding, the Alberta government said this week.

The left-leaning New Democratic government of the energy-rich Western Canadian province, home to the country’s controversial oil sands, said it no longer plans to fund future efforts using the technology.

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Shell update on BG takeover stokes fears for North Sea jobs

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The update fuelled fears about the implications for the North Sea, where Shell and BG have around 2,800 staff and contractors working in total. Both have big operations centres in Aberdeen. The company has shed 7,500 posts globally this year in response to the crude price plunge. It has cut 500 North Sea jobs since August last year.

MARK WILLIAMSON / Wednesday 4 November 2015 / Business

ROYAL Dutch Shell has highlighted the potential it sees to slash costs following the planned $70 (£45bn) billion takeover of BG in comments that stoked concern about the likely impact on jobs in the North Sea.

The deal will increase the size of Shell’s business in the North Sea where the oil and gas giant may then make significant cuts as directors try to achieve the returns they are targeting.

In an update on strategy, Shell said it has increased its estimate of the synergies it will be able to squeeze out of the enlarged business by $1bn since the deal was announced in April, to $3.5bn.

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