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Can Western oil giants break the Gulf impasse?

HIROFUMI MATSUO, Nikkei senior staff writer

TOKYO — One after another, the top executives of Western oil majors have been stepping into the great Persian Gulf rift.

It has been more than two months since Saudi Arabia and other Arab states severed diplomatic ties with Qatar, and there are no signs of a thaw. But soon after the decision was made, a oil bosses began heading to Doha, the Qatari capital.

On June 14, just nine days after Qatar’s neighbors closed off their airspace and closed the sole land border, Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden met with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani. Exxon Mobil CEO Darren Woods followed on June 24. Total CEO Patrick Pouyanne took his turn on July 11. read more

Oil Poised for Weekly Loss Amid Weaker Demand Outlook

IEA sees OPEC’s commitment to clearing global glut fading Agency reduced demand estimates for this year and 2018

Royal Dutch Shell Plc has restarted four units at its Pernis refinery and more will be brought online in the coming days, according to an environmental regulator.

Oil slipped, heading for the biggest weekly loss in a month, as the outlook for demand dimmed amid an already shaky market.

Futures dropped 0.8 percent in New York Friday, poised for a weekly decline of 2.8 percent. The International Energy Agency reduced demand estimates for OPEC crude this year and in 2018, and said there are doubts about the group’s commitment to cutting production, according to its monthly report released Friday. Even a pledge by Saudi Arabia and Iraq to strengthen their commitment to the curbs and maintain balance in world crude markets isn’t helping to prop up prices. 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

Oil majors among top contributors to greenhouse emissions, report says

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More than half of global industrial emissions can be traced back to just 25 corporate and state producing entities, the report says.

China, India and Russia’s coal industries and major oil and gas players like Saudi Aramco, Gazprom, ExxonMobil, BP and Shell are among those named in the paper from CDP, formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project.

The research found that 100 active fossil fuel producers were linked to 71% of global industrial greenhouse gases since 1988. read more

‘Big oil’ dismisses predictions of collapse in demand

by: , Energy Editor: 10 July 2017

Saudi Aramco and Royal Dutch Shell acknowledged that a shift towards renewable energy — including battery-powered cars — was under way but said oil and gas would remain indispensable for decades to come. Ben van Beurden of Shell said the transition to low-carbon technologies would “take place over generations” rather than as a rapid “revolution”.

FULL FT ARTICLE

Shell Plans to Spend $1 Billion a Year on Clean Energy by 2020

Royal Dutch Shell Plc plans to spend as much as $1 billion a year on its New Energies division as the transition toward renewable power and electric cars accelerates.

“In some parts of the world we are beginning to see battery electric cars starting to gain consumer acceptance” while wind and solar costs are falling fast, Shell CEO Ben Van Beurden said in a speech in Istanbul on Monday. “All of this is good news for the world and must accelerate,” while still offering opportunities for producers of fossil fuels. read more

Shell No.9 in Top 100 greenhouse gas emitters since 1988

Jon Yeomans: 

The Chinese coal industry and stock market debutant Saudi Aramco have been named as the world’s biggest emitters of carbon dioxide.

As new data claims to have identified the top 100 emitters of greenhouse gases over the last three decades, a leading NGO has warned that natural  resources companies need to transform their business models to adapt to a low-carbon future.

Just 100 firms are responsible for 71pc of carbon dioxide gases released into the atmosphere since 1988, the year that climate change was first recognised as an international problem, according a report by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). read more

Canada M&A Hits Decade-High as Foreign Owners Flee Oil Sands

Mergers and acquisitions in Canada are set for the strongest start in a decade as foreigners sell their oil sands investments. ConocoPhillips and Royal Dutch Shell Plc are leading the exodus amid a bear market for crude. However, Canadian producers are responding by pumping money into oil deposits in the remote boreal forests, which trail only Saudi Arabia and Venezuela in proved reserves but are more expensive to extract.

FULL ARTICLE

BP and Shell profits under renewed pressure as oil price hits 2017 low

By HARVEY JONES:

Crude slumped last week after a shock rise in US stockpiles, up 3.3million barrels to 513million, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). 

Brent crude slipped to about $48 a barrel, its lowest level since December, and analysts said it could go sharply lower. 

Crude dipped below $27 a barrel in January last year and Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at online trading platform IG, said a repeat of those levels is a distinct possibility: “Crude tends to overshoot on both the upside and the downside.” read more

Saudi Aramco to spend $18 billion on growth in the Americas: Motiva

FILE PHOTO: Logo of Saudi Aramco is seen at the 20th Middle East Oil & Gas Show and Conference (MOES 2017) in Manama, Bahrain, March 7, 2017. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed/File Photo

Saudi Aramco plans to spend $18 billion in the next five years to expand its operations in the Americas, focusing on its U.S. oil refining subsidiary Motiva Enterprises, Motiva said on Thursday.

Motiva [MOTIV.UL] called the $18 billion estimate “a general framework of opportunities” to increase refining capacity, branch into chemicals, and expand its commercial operations, marketing and branded presence in the next five years. read more

Shell, Aramco divide up Motiva JV assets

|By: , SA News Editor

Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) and Saudi Aramco complete the separationof the assets, liabilities and businesses of their U.S.-based refining and marketing joint venture.

Shell now holds sole ownership of the 235K bbl/day Norco refinery, where subsidiary Shell Chemical already operates a petrochemical plant, and the 242,250 bbl/day Convent refinery, which Motiva previously said will be integrated to create the Louisiana Refining System, as well as 11 distribution terminals. read more

Shell Convent refinery HCU restart stopped due to leak: sources

Royal Dutch Shell Plc halted the restart of the heavy oil hydrocracking unit (HCU) at its 235,000 barrel per day (bpd) Convent, Louisiana, refinery on Tuesday due to a leak, sources familiar with plant operations said.

A Shell spokesman said operations were stable on Tuesday at the Convent refinery.

The refinery began restarting the 45,000 bpd hydrocracker, called the H-Oil Unit, over the weekend. Shell was planning to return the unit to operation by the end of this week.

Shell became the sole owner of the Convent refinery on Monday when it and previous refinery co-owner Saudi Aramco divided the assets of their Motiva Enterprises LLC [MOTIV.UL]joint-venture. read more

Shell assumes ownership of Norco, Convent refineries in Motiva deal with Saudi Aramco

Shell assumes ownership of Norco, Convent refineries in Motiva deal with Saudi Aramco

  • Advocate staff report

Royal Dutch Shell has assumed sole ownership of refineries in Norco and Convent as part an agreement with Saudi Aramco to split up the assets of their Motiva joint venture.

Shell, which also has a chemical plant in Convent, also assumes ownership of 11 distribution terminals and Shell-branded markets in Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Louisiana, a portion of the Florida panhandle, and the Northeast.

Saudi Aramco, through its Saudi Refining Inc. subsidiary, assumes ownership of the Motiva Enterprises LLC name, the refinery at Port Arthur, Texas, and 24 distribution terminals. Motiva has the right to exclusively sell Shell-branded gasoline and diesel in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C., as well as the eastern half of Texas and the majority of Florida. read more

Shell says Motiva assets still set to be divided May 1

Shell Oil Co, the U.S. arm of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, on Thursday reaffirmed the target date to split up the Motiva Enterprises [MOTIV.UL] refining joint venture with co-owner Saudi Aramco [IPO-ARMO.SE] would be May 1.

Shell and Saudi Aramco in March 2016 announced the plan to divide up the nearly 20-year-old venture, which runs three refineries and other assets. The date of the split has been pushed back twice since the announcement.

As part of the deal, Saudi Aramco will make a $2.2 billion balancing payment to Shell. Of that total, Aramco will only have to pay about $700 million in cash to Shell, with the remainder satisfied by Aramco assuming most of Shell’s half of the $3.2 billion debt held by Motiva. read more

Big fire last year at Convent refinery could not have been avoided, Motiva says

A Motiva Enterprises investigation into the dramatic Aug. 11 fire at its St. James Parish oil refinery found the blaze resulted from a small valve failure that could not have been foreseen and prevented.

The Houston company reached that conclusion in a recent report to the State Police after a monthslong probe into the four-hour blaze that sent black clouds billowing into the sky, forced the evacuation of 1,400 workers and contractors during an intermittent lightning storm and heavily damaged an important H-Oil unit. read more

Big Oil’s Plan to Buy Into the Shale Boom

by Javier Blas: 21 March 2017, 10:26 GMT

Big Oil is muscling in on shale country.

Exxon Mobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Chevron Corp., are jumping into American shale with gusto, planning to spend a combined $10 billion this year, up from next to nothing only a few years ago.

The giants are gaining a foothold in West Texas with such projects as Bongo 76-43, a well which is being drilled 10,000 feet beneath the table-flat, sage-scented desert, and which then extends horizontally for a mile, blasting through rock to capture light crude from the sprawling Permian Basin. read more

Saudi Aramco to Pay Shell $2.2 Billion in Refinery Breakup

by Javier Blas, Joe Carroll, and Margot Habiby: 7 March 2017

Saudi Arabian Oil Co. will pay Royal Dutch Shell Plc $2.2 billion including debt to finalize the breakup of a 19-year refining partnership known as Motiva Enterprises LLC.Saudi Aramco’s Saudi Refining unit will take full ownership of the Motiva Enterprises name and legal entity, including the largest refinery in the U.S. at Port Arthur in Texas, and 24 distribution terminals, according to a joint statement. Shell will take sole ownership of the Norco and Convent refineries in Louisiana and 11 distribution terminals.

Aramco will make a $2.2 billion balancing payment, split between debt and cash and subject to adjustments including working capital, Shell said in a separate statement. Aramco will assume almost all of Motiva’s $3.2 billion of net debt, including $1.5 billion of Shell’s share. A cash payment will cover the balance, Shell said. The arrangement will also take the Anglo-Dutch company closer to its target of selling $30 billion of assets in the three years to 2018.

“Motiva is a strong competitor among U.S. refiners, and we value this important link with the dynamic U.S. energy sector,” said Abdulaziz Al-Judaimi, senior vice president of Aramco’s downstream business. “Our intent is to continue providing Motiva with strong financial support as it transitions into a stand-alone downstream affiliate.” read more

Shell expects to split Motiva assets with Saudi Aramco in Q2

Mon Feb 6, 2017

HOUSTON Shell Oil Co, the U.S. unit of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, said on Monday it expects to divide the refineries and other assets of the Motiva Enterprises [MOTIV.UL] joint venture with co-owner Saudi Aramco in the second quarter of 2017.

“We are pleased with the progress we have made to date, and anticipate completion of the transaction in Q2 2017,” Shell spokesman Ray Fisher said in an email. “The April 1 date is a target that the internal project teams are working toward.” read more

Downstream keeps cash flowing to protect Shell’s dividend

EXTRACT

The latest disposal came on Sunday with the $820m sale of Shell’s stake in a Saudi Arabian petrochemicals joint venture to Saudi Basic Industries. This followed a $1.4bn withdrawal last month from the Showa Shell refining joint-venture in Japan. A further break-up is being negotiated with Saudi Aramco over their Motiva US refining JV.

Chemicals ‘growth engine’ at Shell despite Saudi divestment – company

23 January 2017 

LONDON (ICIS)–Royal Dutch Shell’s chemicals business will continue to be a “growth engine” for the company despite the $820m disposal in its Saudi joint venture with SABIC, a spokesperson for the UK-Netherlands energy major said on Monday.

Shell announced late on Sunday it was divesting its 50% stake at SADAF, a 37-year old joint venture with the Saudi petrochemicals major.

The SADAF joint venture, at Jubail Industrial City, has six petrochemical plants with a total output of more than 4m tonnes/year, according to Shell, including production plants of ethylene and styrene with output capacities of 366,000 tonnes/year and 400,000 tonnes/year, respectively, according to Shell’s 2015 financial report.   read more

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. read more

Sabic Buys Out Shell in Saudi Petrochemical for $820 Million

Saudi Basic Industries Corp., the Middle East’s biggest petrochemicals producer, agreed to buy out Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s 50 percent stake in a Saudi joint venture for $820 million.

The Saudi Petrochemical Co. venture, known as SADAF, is ending earlier than the planned 2020 expiration, the Hague-based Shell said in an e-mailed statement Sunday. SADAF in Jubail, Saudi Arabia, has six petrochemicals plants with total production of about 4 million metric tons a year, it said.

Shell’s acquisition of BG Group Plc last year has turned its attention to restructuring its business and focusing on existing assets, and is sending “mixed signals about its desired role” in the Middle East, Arab Petroleum Investments Corp., the investment banking arm of Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries, said in a report last week. Shell in 2015 ended plans to build a $6.5 billion petrochemical plant in Qatar and last year exited a natural gas exploration venture in Abu Dhabi. read more

Saudi’s SABIC to acquire remaining 50 percent of Shell venture for $820 million

Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) 2010.SE has signed an agreement to acquire the 50 percent that it does not already own in its petrochemical venture with Shell Arabia, a unit of Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L), for $820 million, SABIC said on Sunday.

“As per the partnership agreement between the two companies that stipulates the right of SABIC to renew or end the partnership by the end of 2020…SABIC decided to acquire the full stake of Shell, which is 50 percent,” it said. read more

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. read more

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. read more

Shell Norco chemical plant malfunction triggers flaring

HOUSTON, Dec 18 2016 (Reuters) – A malfunction on Saturday triggered flaring at Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s Norco, Louisiana, chemical plant, said a Shell spokesman.

Shell’s Ray Fisher on Sunday declined to say which unit sustained the malfunction.

A source familiar with plant operations said the malfunction was in an olefins unit at the chemical plant.

The Shell chemical plant in Norco shares the safety flare system with the adjoining Motiva Enterprises refinery. Flaring from the chemical plant is sometimes thought to come from the refinery. read more

Trump stance could complicate Saudi/Shell deal

By RUSSELL GOLD: Dec. 16, 2016 2:45 p.m. ET

The election of Donald Trump threatens to complicate efforts by Saudi Arabia’s national oil company to purchase refineries and expand its petrochemical footprint in the U.S.

Speaking in Louisiana earlier this month, he said: “We use refineries from other countries. The whole thing is just crazy. It’s crazy.”

That stance could complicate a continuing deal: Saudi Aramco and Royal Dutch Shell PLC are in talks to end a joint venture called Motiva Enterprises. The Saudi company, which is state owned and state controlled, has said it expects after negotiations are concluded to own the 603,000-barrel-a-day refinery in Port Arthur, Texas. Shell is expected to get two smaller refineries in Louisiana. read more

screen-shot-2016-12-05-at-16-34-00 By The Motley Fool  Dec 5, 2016

Today I’m looking at the critical reasons to sell out of Royal Dutch Shell (LSE: RDSB).

A drop in the ocean

The oil sector’s major players breathed a huge sigh of relief last week after OPEC — responsible for four-tenths of the world’s oil supply — confounded the expectations of many and agreed to cut its output.

Saudi Arabia brokered a deal that will see production fall by 1.2m barrels per day, to 32.5m barrels beginning in January. The news prompted Brent oil to top the $55 per barrel marker for the first time since the summer of 2016. read more

Leaner and meaner: U.S. shale greater threat to OPEC after oil price war

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By Catherine Ngai and Ernest Scheyder

NEW YORK/HOUSTON In a corner of the prolific Bakken shale play in North Dakota, oil companies can now pump crude at a price almost as low as that enjoyed by OPEC giants Iran and Iraq.

Until a few years ago it was unprofitable to produce oil from shale in the United States. The steep slide in costs could encourage more U.S. shale output if OPEC members cut supplies, undermining the producer group’s ability to boost prices. OPEC ministers meet Wednesday to weigh output cuts to end a two-year glut that has pressured global oil prices. read more

OPEC agrees first output cut since 2008, Saudis to take ‘big hit’

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By Ahmad Ghaddar, Alex Lawler and Rania El Gamal | VIENNA

OPEC has agreed its first limit on oil output since 2008, sources in the producer group told Reuters, with Saudi Arabia accepting “a big hit” on its production and agreeing to arch-rival Iran freezing output at pre-sanctions levels.

Brent crude futures jumped 8 percent to more than $50 a barrel after Riyadh signaled it had finally reached a compromise with Iran after insisting in recent weeks that Tehran fully participate in any cut. read more

Opec cuts neither dead nor alive

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By Ed Crooks November 28, 2016

Opec’s possible production cut is the oil market equivalent of Schrödinger’s cat: neither dead nor alive. When they met in Algiers in late September, Opec ministers agreed the need to reduce output, but left the allocation of the cuts between individual members to be finalised later. If they cannot agree on that, the deal will die. At their meeting in Vienna on Wednesday, the ministers will have to open the box, and we will find out whether or not the agreement is still breathing. read more

OPEC makes last-ditch bid to save oil deal as tensions grow

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By Rania El Gamal and Alex Lawler | VIENNA

OPEC was trying on Monday to rescue a deal to limit oil output as tensions grew among the producer group and non-OPEC member Russia, with top exporter Saudi Arabia saying markets would rebalance even without an agreement.

OPEC experts started a meeting in Vienna at 0900 GMT and were due to make recommendations to their ministers on how exactly the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries should reduce production when it meets on Nov. 30. read more

Not dead yet

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By Ed Crooks: November 19, 2016

The last rites have been read over the Age of Oil a few times recently, but this week the International Energy Agency suggested there was still plenty of life left in it yet.

In its 2016 World Energy Outlook, the IEA argued that even if the Paris climate agreement were fully implemented, demand for oil would keep rising until at least 2040.

The message was reassuring for oil producers worried that “peak demand” might condemn them to stagnation or decline, or even put them out of business. There was colder comfort, however, in a warning from Wood Mackenzie that big oil companies risked being left behind in the transition to low-carbon energy. read more

This bad news should encourage you to avoid Royal Dutch Shell plc!

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By The Motley Fool  Nov 7, 2016

Deal in danger

My bearish view on Royal Dutch Shell (LSE: RDSB) hasn’t improved over the weekend, either, following news of fresh bickering between OPEC members.

On Monday, OPEC’s Mohammed Barkindo was forced to deny that the wheels are not falling off its much-lauded supply freeze agreement, with the group’s secretary general announcing that all 14 member states remain committed to the deal.

But rumours that Saudi Arabia vowed late last week to raise its own production, should members fail to rubber-stamp the deal this month, negates any suggestion of cross-cartel unity. Some members like Iran have been exempted from cutting, or even holding, their own production, causing other group members to publicly call for similar exemptions. The political and economic ramifications of getting an agreement over the line are clearly colossal. read more

Royal Dutch Shell: The Comeback Is Here

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Alpha Investor: Sunday Nov 6, 2016

Summary

  • Shell posted a massive turnaround in its bottom line last quarter on the back of an improved production profile, lower costs, and higher price realizations.
  • Shell’s financial improvement is set to continue going forward as upstream oil price realizations will continue to improve on the back of a positive demand-supply environment in the oil industry.
  • Oil demand has exceeded supply by 500,000 bpd this year and the trend will continue as the likes of Russia, Saudi Arabia, and the U.S. continue to reduce output.
  • Shell’s focus on lowering both operating and capital costs will allow it to attain break-even point even if oil prices remain at $50/barrel, which will also improve cash flow.

On Tuesday last week, Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS.A) (NYSE:RDS.B) reported impressive results for the third quarter. In fact, Shell was able to achieve a major turnaround in its bottom line performance, posting a profit of $1.4 billion as compared to a huge loss of $6.1 billion in the same quarter last year. This impressive turnaround in Shell’s bottom line was a result of an increase in production as compared to the prior-year period, driven by the acquisition of BG that led to a favorable production mix in the upstream segment. read more

Oil majors join forces in climate push with renewable energy fund

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By Ron Bousso | LONDON

Top oil companies including Saudi Aramco and Shell are joining forces to create an investment fund to develop technologies to promote renewable energy, as they seek an active role in the fight against global warming, sources said.

The chief executives of seven oil and gas companies — BP, Eni, Repsol, Saudi Aramco, Royal Dutch Shell, Statoil and Total — will announce details of the fund and other steps to reduce greenhouse gases in London on Friday.

The sector faces mounting pressure to take an active role in the fight against global warming, and Friday’s event will coincide with the formal entry into force of the 2015 Paris Agreement to phase out man-made greenhouse gases in the second half of the century. read more

Survival in the harsh conditions of the oil downturn

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By Ed Crooks: October 21, 2016

The mood at the Oil and Money conference in London, the big energy event of the week, was a case of mixed emotions: cheer over signs of a near-term pick-up in the market, and concern over longer-term threats to demand.

The headlines were made on Wednesday by a clash between two of the biggest names in energy: Khalid al-Falih, energy minister of Saudi Arabia, and Rex Tillerson, chief executive of ExxonMobil. In his keynote speech, Mr al-Falih warned of the risk of “a shortage of supply” in future years because of plunging investment in oil production. Speaking minutes later, Mr Tillerson suggested he did not expect a collapse in supplies, because US shale provided “enormous spare capacity” to meet rising demand. read more

The global market is still awash with crude

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By Ed Crooks: 14 October 2016

As the new Nobel prize-winner for literature once put it, something is happening here. The successful IPO this week by a US exploration and production company, Extraction Oil & Gas, was the first in the sector since crude prices started to slide in the summer of 2014. Along with the slide in energy junk bond yields, and signs of a corresponding thaw in E&P junk bond issuance, which has been essentially frozen all year, it is clear evidence that investor confidence in the US oil industry is returning. read more

Royal Dutch Shell: The Turnaround Will Continue

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screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-13-11-55Alpha Investor: 12 October 2016

Summary

Royal Dutch Shell shares have received a boost in the past month on the back of an improvement in oil prices, a trend that is likely to continue.

There was excess oil demand of 500,000 bpd in the third quarter as against supply due to production cuts across the globe and robust demand, leading to an inventory correction.

Oil prices will rise further as Saudi Arabia, Russia, and the U.S. are all intent on reducing the industry oversupply, which will lead to further inventory declines. read more

Idemitsu and Showa Shell postpone merger amid founding family reservations, Iran-Saudi tensions

screen-shot-2016-10-13-at-10-14-31KYODO, STAFF REPORT: 13 October 2016:

Oil distributors Idemitsu Kosan Co. and Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K. have decided to postpone their planned April merger as Idemitsu has yet to gain consent for the deal from the founding family, sources close to the matter said Thursday.

Idemitsu, the nation’s second largest wholesaler, and Showa Shell, the fifth biggest, were expected to announce the decision later in the day, according to the sources.

Idemitsu and Showa Shell originally revealed a plan to merge in 2015. But the progress of the merger has become increasingly uncertain after Idemitsu founding members, who hold a 34 percent stake, enough to veto the merger, announced their opposition to the plan in June. read more

FT Energy Source Weekly Briefing

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By Ed Crooks: October 7, 2016

Two international agreements have dominated the week’s energy news. Both have futures that are still shrouded in uncertainty, but are important landmarks if only because countries with widely diverging interests were able to come together and sign up to a shared course of action.

One was the Paris climate accord, which this week secured support from enough countries to come into force formally next month. The UN said 73 countries and the EU, accounting for more than 55 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, had ratified the agreement, crossing the thresholds set when the accord was adopted last December. More of the 195 countries that agreed the deal then are expected to join it formally in the coming weeks, months and years. read more

Now could be the perfect time to sell Royal Dutch Shell plc

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By Royston Wild – Friday, 7 October, 2016

Stakeholders in fossil fuel goliath Royal Dutch Shell (LSE: RDSB) could be forgiven for breaking out the bubbly following the company’s recent share price detonation.

Shell saw its value gallop 28% higher during the third quarter, and the firm’s meteoric ascent may not be finished yet — indeed, the stock is within striking distance of July’s quarterly peak of £21.48 per share, the loftiest level since May 2015.

But while many momentum investors may be tempted to plough in, I reckon now could provide a terrific opportunity for investors to cash out. read more

Iraq’s OPEC revolt shows Saudi-Iran oil deal fragility

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Iraq’s OPEC revolt shows Saudi-Iran oil deal fragility

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By Rania El Gamal and Alex Lawler | ALGIERS

For years, debates in the OPEC conference room were dominated by clashes between top producer Saudi Arabia and arch-rival Iran.

But as the two managed to find a rare compromise on Wednesday – with Riyadh softening its stance towards Tehran – a third OPEC superpower emerged.

Iraq overtook Iran as the group’s second-largest producer several years ago but kept its OPEC agenda fairly low-profile. On Wednesday, Baghdad finally made its presence felt. read more

Saudi Arabia Injects $5.3 Billion in Bank System Amid Crunch

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The plunge in oil prices over the past two years forced the government to draw down on its deposits in the banking system…

By Alaa Shahine and Stefania Bianchi: 25 Sept 2016

Saudi Arabia’s central bank stepped up efforts to support lenders in the Arab world’s biggest economy as they grapple with the effects of low oil prices.

The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, as the central bank is known, said it decided to give banks about 20 billion riyals ($5.3 billion) in the form of time deposits “on behalf of government entities.” It’s also introducing seven-day and 28-day repurchase agreements, as part of its “supportive monetary policy.”

The plunge in oil prices over the past two years forced the government to draw down on its deposits in the banking system, squeezing domestic liquidity. That’s pushed up the three-month Saudi Interbank Offered Rate, a key benchmark used for pricing loans, to the highest level since 2009. The central bank was said to have offered lenders 15 billion riyals in short-term loans in June to help ease liquidity constraints. read more

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

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By LAURA CHESTERS FOR THE DAILY MAIL19 September 2016

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

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

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

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

SHELL: STRICTLY PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL?

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EMAIL FROM JOHN DONOVAN TO SHELL: 15 SEPT 2016

From: John Donovan <[email protected]>

Subject: STRICTLY PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL?

Date: 15 September 2016 at 12:51:41 BST

To: [email protected]

Cc: Michiel Brandjes <[email protected]>

To Mr. Gary P. Thomson SI-LSC/KCompany Secretarial Advisor 

Corporate Secretariat 

London 

Dear Mr. Thomson

Thank you for your email dated 26 July 2016 and your subsequent letter dated 30 August 2016, the content of both stated by you to be “Strictly private and confidential”.

An attachment was marked as being “Confidential”. read more

Will Saudi Aramco Be Able To Lay Its Hands On Houston Refinery?

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By Tsvetana Paraskova – Sep 14, 2016, 3:52 PM CDT

At a time when U.S. and Saudi relations are strained, the Saudi Arabian Oil Company is reportedly leading in a race to buy a large refinery in Houston.

Certainly, politics and geopolitics cannot stay out of such move by the Saudi company, but it seems that Aramco has solid business reasons, as well as political ones, to bid for the Houston Refinery, which Dutch chemicals company LyondellBasell Industries NV (NYSE:LYB) is reportedly putting up for sale. read more

No oil freeze yet

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Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 08.25.29By Ed Crooks: September 9, 2016

“Grant me chastity and continence, but not yet,” St Augustine wrote in his Confessions, remembering his prayer as an adolescent. Opec members are taking much the same attitude to restraining their oil production.

Saudi Arabia and Russia, the world’s two largest crude producers, said on Monday they would co-operate on ways to stabilise oil prices, but stopped short of agreeing to freeze production. There will be a working group to study ways to curb price volatility, and co-operation on production curbs was held out as a possibility. But Khalid al-Falih, Saudi Arabia’s energy minister, was clearly in no hurry to make any commitments. read more

Saudi Aramco-Motiva in lead to buy Lyondell’s Houston refinery: sources

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By Erwin Seba and Jessica Resnick-Ault | HOUSTON/NEW YORK

Saudi Aramco and its U.S. refining joint-venture Motiva Enterprises [MOTIV.UL] lead the race to buy LyondellBasell Industries Houston refinery, according to three sources familiar with the matter.

An announcement of the sale by Lyondell is expected this week, the sources said.

Lyondell spokesman Michael Waldron declined on Monday to discuss a sale of the refinery.

Reuters reported on Aug. 25 that Dutch chemical company Lyondell had retained Bank of America Merrill Lynch to help with a sale of the refinery. read more

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. read more

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