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Shell opens treatment plant in Argentina shale play

Royal Dutch Shell PLC inaugurated on Tuesday a treatment plant for shale oil and gas in Argentina’s Vaca Muerta shale play, one of the world’s largest.

The plant, announced in 2014, has a capacity to process up to 10,000 barrels per day from the Sierras Blancas, Cruz de Lorena and Coiron Amargo Sur Oeste blocks operated by Shell, the company said in a statement.

“(The plant) receives output from the wells of these blocks, processing the oil and gas to leave it ready for commercialization,” the statement said.

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OPEC Has To Extend Cuts – Shell Will Benefit Strongly From The Action

Gary Bourgeault: 28 March 2017

One of the best things to happen to the U.S. shale industry was the plunge in the price of oil. It caused creative companies with good management to aggressively pursue ways of slashing costs, while at the same time improving productivity.

A number of the pure plays like EOG Resources (NYSE:EOG) have been able to significantly improve efficiencies, to the point EOG can generate a 30 percent return when oil is at $40 per barrel. Lately, major producer Royal Dutch Shell plc (NYSE:RDS.A) (NYSE:RDS.B) has taken a larger position in shale, and says new wells in its Permian holdings can generate a profit at $20 per barrel. Overall, it can make money when oil is at $40 in the Permian.

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Shell and Anadarko mull clean break from Permian venture -executive

By REUTERSPUBLISHED: 06:03, 27 March 2017

By Ron Bousso and Ernest Scheyder

LONDON/HOUSTON, March 27 (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Anadarko Petroleum Corp may let a 10-year joint venture in the oil-rich Permian Basin of Texas expire and split their properties, hoping to speed up development, according to a senior Shell executive.

The divorce and re-parceling of acreage would let each company drill and develop new wells at its own pace in the Permian, which has become the U.S. oil industry’s hottest development area for its low operating costs as crude prices hover under $50 per barrel.

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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 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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YPF, Shell sign deal for Vaca Muerta pilot project

Argentina’s state-run oil company YPF SA said it reached a preliminary deal with Royal Dutch Shell Plc on Thursday to develop oil and gas assets in the Vaca Muerta shale field, involving a $300 million investment from Shell.

Both companies will take a 50 percent stake in the Bajada de Añelo field to develop a pilot program, which will be operated by Shell, YPF said in a statement. The agreement is subject to approval by provincial authorities, and Shell’s investment will come in two phases, YPF said.

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Shell eyes investments in Alberta’s shale plays as oilsands turn into ‘cash engine, not a growth engine’

Jesse Snyder | February 2, 2017 7:49 PM ET

Royal Dutch Shell Plc said Thursday it will reduce capital expenditures in 2017 for the third straight year, while also outlining plans to boost production at one of its light oil assets in southern Alberta.

During a quarterly conference call with analysts, the Netherlands-based company laid out plans to invest in its liquids-rich Fox Creek, Alta., assets as part of a broader US$2-to- $3-billion strategy targeting its highest-return shale plays.

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Shell nears deals to sell $5 bln of assets -CFO

By Karolin Schaps and Ron Bousso | LONDON

Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) is close to selling assets totaling $5 billion to cut debt following its acquisition of BG Group, the oil major said on Thursday as it reported its lowest full-year earnings in more than a decade.

Dealmaking in the oil and gas sector has been muted for more than two years due to collapsing oil prices, but as crude prices recover buyers and sellers are starting to agree on price tags.

For Shell, disposals of $3 billion in the fourth quarter helped shave $4.5 billion off its net debt and increase cashflow by 8 percent in the last three months of the year, Europe’s largest oil and gas company said.

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OPEC, U.S. begin ‘cat and mouse’ oil game as producers pounce on hedges

By Amanda Cooper and Catherine Ngai | LONDON/NEW YORK

As far as one of the world’s biggest commodities traders, Glencore’s chief Ivan Glasenberg, is concerned, the oil market will be at the mercy of “a cat and mouse game” between OPEC and its U.S. shale rivals in the coming year.

A 16 percent price rally over the past week has delivered U.S. frackers a golden opportunity to hedge – or sell forward – their production for 2017 and beyond, to shore up their coffers against possible future price falls.

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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.

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Shell CEO expects no valuation hit from climate accord

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Royal Dutch Shell expects to pump out all the fossil fuel reserves listed on its balance sheet, its chief executive said, dismissing concerns that production limits in the wake of the Paris climate accord could hit the energy giant’s valuation.

In an interview with Dutch newspaper Het Financieele Dagblad, Ben van Beurden said the issue of “stranded” reserves – deposits in the ground that cannot be used because of carbon emissions limitations – would have no impact on balance sheets.

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Confidence in enlarged Shell-BG entity

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The week ahead in business and finance

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

Third Quarter Results: Tuesday, November 1

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

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

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Shell divests non-core shale acreage in Western Canada for total consideration of US$1 billion

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Oct 20, 2016, 17:26 ET

CALGARY, Oct. 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ – Royal Dutch Shell plc, through its affiliate Shell Canada Energy (“Shell”) today announced it has agreed to sell approximately 206,000 net acres of non-core oil and gas properties in Western Canada to Tourmaline Oil Corp. for a total consideration of approximately $1,037 million (C$1,369 million). The consideration is comprised of $758 million in cash and Tourmaline shares valued at $279 million. Subject to regulatory approvals the transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2016.

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5 Oil Majors, One Big Nigeria Lawsuit

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September 20, 2016, 4:48 P.M. ET

By Dimitra DeFotis

Allegedly illegal Nigerian oil exports valued at $12.7 billion are at the heart of a lawsuit the country has filed against units of Chevron (CVX), Royal Dutch Shell (RDSA), Total (TOT) ENI (E) and Petroleo Brasileiro (PBR).

The case points to outsiders’ shipments to the United States between 2011 and 2014, but is likely to expose domestic corruption as well. Militants have crippled Nigeria’s oil production this year, a recurring theme over recent decades. Lagos hearings, which begin next week, come as the country struggles with the affects of policy stagnation, currency devaluation, inflation and low oil revenue.

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Speculation rises over Opec output freeze

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By Ed Crooks: September 2, 2016

Over the past month, the big stories in the oil market have been speculation about a possible production freeze from Opec, and the reality of rising activity in the US shale industry.

The rumours of Opec action have followed the pattern that has become wearingly familiar over the past couple of years, since the landmark meeting in November 2014 confirming that Saudi Arabia was not prepared to cut production to try to stabilise prices.

As the meeting – in this case, a gathering on the sidelines of the International Energy Forum in Algiers on September 26-28 – grows nearer, suggestions that a freeze will be discussed grow louder. Venezuela, which has the most urgent need for a higher oil price, sounds the most enthusiastic about curbing production. Other countries make supportive statements and agree to meet, without promising any action themselves.

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Is this the beginning of the end for Royal Dutch Shell plc and BP plc?

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By Rupert HargreavesThe Motley Fool  Aug 4, 2016

Over the past 10 years, the oil industry has changed dramatically. Technological advances have helped reduce the cost of extracting oil from unconventional sources significantly, and as oil prices have plunged over the past two years, shale oil producers have ploughed more time and resources into pushing costs even lower.

As a result of this unrelenting drive to reduce costs and improve efficiency, it’s estimated that the majority of US shale fields can break even with oil at $60 a barrel. Scott Sheffield, the outgoing chief of Pioneer Natural Resources claims that Pioneer’s pre-tax production costs have fallen to $2.25 a barrel.

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US oil reserves surpass those of Saudi Arabia and Russia

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Anjli Raval, Oil and Gas Correspondent: July 4, 2016

The US holds more oil reserves than Saudi Arabia and Russia, the first time it has surpassed those held by the world’s biggest exporting nations, according to a new study.

The US shale boom was a factor behind the recent oil price collapse that toppled the Brent crude benchmark from a mid-2014 high of $115 a barrel to below $30 earlier this year.

FULL FT ARTICLE

Royal Dutch Shell Has Served Notice – The Deepwater Drillers Are In Big Trouble

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June 23, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-05-21 at 10.18.28Summary

  • Eighteen months ago Shell was considering exiting shale plays and focusing on its deepwater and LNG opportunities.
  • Shell’s recent analyst day presentations revealed a company that is shifting its long term focus towards shale.
  • We think that going forward the offshore drilling rig companies have major long term challenges and investors need to be aware that pre-crash cash flows aren’t coming back.

For the small sliver of global oil production that U.S shale oil actually represents it certainly has been a disruptive force.

Total shale production (there is no significant amount outside of the United States) is currently somewhere around 4.5 million barrels per day.

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That is not much more than four percent of total current production which checks in at over 96 million barrels per day.

After having a look at Shell’s (NYSE:RDS.A) 2016 capital markets day presentation we think shale oil is going to become even more disruptive going forward for a select group of companies.

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Shell works to simplify organization to compete with independents

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By Mella McEwen [email protected]: 22 June 2016

Too big. Too rigid. Not nimble enough.

Those are reasons why integrated oil companies could have a difficult time competing with independents in the unconventional shale plays that have led to a resurgence in the nation’s oil and gas industry.

Royal Dutch Shell, however, disagrees with that reasoning and this week held an event to reaffirm its commitment to the shales business, including its holdings in the Permian Basin.

Shell officials discussed how its recent $70 billion acquisition of the BG Group has impacted its outlook. The event was a mixer at Shell’s Drilling Automation & Remote Technology (DART) Center located on its Houston campus and was webcast and available by telephone.

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Shell Sees Strong Potential for Permian Basin Assets

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Bruce Palfreyman, general manager of Shell’s Permian asset group, said the company believes it has the best position in the Delaware, part of the Permian Basin in West Texas, in terms of size and rock quality. The company holds 300,000 net acres in the Delaware through its joint venture with Anadarko Petroleum Corp., with more than 5,000 future well locations on a risk basis.

Shell acquired the acreage in 2012 from Chesapeake Energy, and has spent the past three years maturing and de-risking the acreage, Palfreyman told reporters during a media event Monday in Houston to outline Shell’s strategy on its unconventional oil and gas business. The company has pursued a high-grade strategy for its Permian acreage, selling off peripheral acreage. Shell’s position in the Delaware contains 2 billion barrels of oil.

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Shell puts revamped shale arm at heart of growth drive

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Having turned round its North American shale business, Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) is putting so-called unconventional energy at the heart of its growth plans, and believes lessons from the revamp can be applied across the company.

Greg Guidry, head of the Anglo-Dutch group’s unconventionals business, told Reuters a drive to slash costs and streamline decision-making had put his division largely on a par with leading rivals in terms of productivity and efficiency.

And now the rest of Shell could reap the benefits too.

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Inaccurate predictions of when oil production won’t meet demand

Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 13.11.39By John Donovan

Retired Shell Oil President John Hofmeister (right) will say practically anything to get quoted in the news media, presumably in the hope of raising his public profile. 

CNBC is today reporting his prediction that oil production won’t meet demand in 5 yearsFor some reason, he consistently tries to talk up the price of oil. 

Those of us with good memories may recall a similar reckless prediction made by his former Shell boss, Jeroen van der Veer. 

As reported in the Times newspaper article below (published in January 2008), Mr. van der Veer said that oil and gas demand would outstrip supply within 7 years. In other words, by 2015. 

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Goodbye Marvin Odum

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Screen Shot 2016-02-24 at 17.16.30Marvin Odum, unconventional resources director and U.S. country chair for Royal Dutch Shell, left the company. He joined Shell as an engineer in 1982. Concurrent with his departure, and in a move that will simplify Shell’s structure, the Athabasca Oil Sands Project and the Scotford Upgrader in Canada will join the global Downstream organization under Downstream Director John Abbott.

In addition, the Shale Resources business will join the global Upstream organization under Upstream Director Andy Brown. As a result of these changes, the unconventional resources director position is eliminated.

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Royal Dutch Shell Limiting Investment in Chinese Shale Gas

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By Muhammad Ali Khawar on Apr 3, 2016

Royal Dutch Shell plc. (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A) unlike BP plc. (ADR) (NYSE:BP) is looking less enthusiastic for the exploration and production of shale gas. As reported by Bloomberg, Shell has indicated that it is not pursuing with the development of the Fushun-Yongchuan shale gas block in the China’s Sichuan province.

The news comes following BP and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) latest deal for shale gas exploration in the country. Both the parties signed a production sharing contract (PSC) for shale gas exploration, development, and production in China’s Nejiang-Dazu block in the Sichuan basin.

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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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Oil’s upwards rally

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By Ed Crooks: 11 March 2016

Oil this week continued its recent rally, with Brent crude clinging on above $40, but there was speculation that most of the gains of the past two months could be undone if Opec members and Russia failed to finalise their earlier conditional agreement to freeze production.

Reuters reported Opec sources as saying that a suggested meeting in Moscow on March 20 to confirm the deal was unlikely to take place. The critical factor is Iran; other countries say they will not meet to discuss joining the freeze unless Tehran agrees to sign up for it too. President Hassan Rouhani’s chief of staff told a conference in London that his country wanted to increase exports to regain its pre-sanctions market share before it would start talking about cuts. The same official, Mohammad Nahavandian, also sought to reassure international companies that the country would soon unveil new and improved contracts for investors in its oil and gas industry, even though the issue has raised concerns about attempts by foreign businesses to “loot Iran’s natural resources”.

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South Africa to start shale gas exploration in next year

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Royal Dutch Shell, Falcon Oil & Gas and Bundu Gas & Oil are among five companies which have applied for exploration licenses being reviewed by South Africa’s Petroleum Agency, the regulator said on Tuesday.

The Petroleum Agency will submit its recommendations to the government by early May. The ministry of mineral resources will make the final decision on granting licenses.

“One area of real opportunity for South Africa is the exploration of shale gas,” a statement from cabinet ministers responsible for the economy said.

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South Africa looks to shale gas future

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Shell one of the early examiners of gas potential in a country plagued by an electricity crisis

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By Daniel J. Graeber: March 8, 2016

PRETORIA, South Africa, March 8 (UPI) — The South African government said Tuesday it was expecting to reap the rewards of shale natural gas, with exploration slated as early as 2017.

Royal Dutch Shell is among the early entrants into the South African shale sector, reviewing the prospects for gas in the country’s Karoo basin.

South African Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform Gugile Nkwinti told government officials in Pretoria shale gas exploration presents a real opportunity for economic growth in the country.

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Marvin FINALLY got called out for his incompetence

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Marvin FINALLY got called out for his incompetence.

His presiding over the disasters in the Arctic and in the $40 billion shale misadventure finally caught up with him as all those who took the fall earlier had gone and BvB finally saw him as the liability he was.

That was why he was ‘moved’ into the departure lounge position in the first place.

I cannot think of a single executive offhand who willingly got off the gravy train before their time regardless of what Corporates press writers spin.

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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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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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Oil majors’ business model under increasing pressure

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Ed Crooks in New York and Chris Adams in London: 14 FEB 2016

Gorgon, a massive liquefied natural gas project off the north-west coast of Australia, is one of the wonders of the modern age. Its $54bn price tag makes it — in nominal terms at least — one of the most expensive engineering projects ever completed. It could also be a monument to a fading era, the last hurrah of Big Oil. In this view of the world, the price crash has been like an asteroid strike: agile shale producers can survive, but the lumbering dinosaurs of big oil are doomed.

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

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

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

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

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What goes down

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By Ed Crooks: January 29, 2016

The week has been a reminder that oil prices can go up as well as down. By Thursday night, Brent crude was 25 per cent higher than its low point eight days earlier. At a little under $34 per barrel, though, oil is still at a level that makes the great majority of US shale developments uneconomic. As I wrote in the FT on Saturday, it is pointing towards a radical shake-out in the shale industry.

Concerns about the huge financial strain that $30 crude imposes on oil producers and oilfield services companies has driven the value of junk-rated US energy debt down to its lowest level for more than two decades, at an average of just 56 cents on the dollar.  Markets have also become increasingly concerned about the domino effect from weak oil prices hitting other sectors, such as manufacturing. On balance, however, David Sheppard and Neil Hume argued in the FT, cheap oil is still better for the world economy than expensive oil.

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Stock Prices Sink in a Rising Ocean of Oil

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It could get worse. The nuclear deal with Iran should allow the country to start exporting far more oil, once sanctions are lifted, potentially in a matter of days. Iran could add as much as 500,000 barrels a day to the global markets. Tentative progress in negotiations between warring factions in Libya, battling for control of oil and export terminals, could unleash another flood.

By CLIFFORD KRAUSSA version of this article appears in print on January 16, 2016, on page A1 of the New York edition

HOUSTON — The world is awash in crude oil, with enough extra produced last year to fuel all of Britain or Thailand. And the price of oil will not stop falling until the glut shrinks.

The oil glut — the unsold crude that is piling up around the world — is a quandary and a source of investor anxiety that once again rattled global markets on Friday.

As prices have dropped, the amount of excess production has been cut in half over the last six months. About one million barrels of extra oil is now being dumped on the markets each day.

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Shell in bed with the President of Argentina?

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Dear John,

It has taken some time to send you my promised request for information, but I’m now fulfilling my commitment. 

I’m an Argentinian independent journalist. Usually, I write on international Politics, and in this job I regularly check your site. In recent times, however, I note the absence of references to the enormous political engagement of Shell in the new Argentinian government.

Usually, I write on international Politics, and in this job I regularly check your site. In recent times, however, I note the absence of references to the enormous political engagement of Shell in the new Argentinian government.

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Oil Prices Could Collapse To $20

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By Tyler Durden

Extracts from extracts…

Could oil prices collapse to $20? 

The short answer is ‘yes.’

We believe that crude oil prices could fall further unless global oil production is reduced. As shown in Table 2, we estimate that the global oil market could be oversupplied by roughly 920,000 bpd in 2016. The key assumptions are year-over-year growth in global demand of 1.2 million bpd, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Libya hold production at current levels, Iran ramps up production at moderate pace over the course of the year and the U.S. rig count remains at current levels.

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Shell’s £40bn takeover of BG Group edges closer despite tumbling oil price and shareholder discontent

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By CITY & FINANCE REPORTER FOR THE DAILY MAILPUBLISHED: 21:55, 21 December 2015

Tumbling oil prices and shareholder discontent have not prevented Royal Dutch Shell’s £40billion takeover of BG Group entering the final stages.

The deal could complete in February after BG applied to the High Court to hold the shareholder meetings to vote on it in the new year.

The tie-up has been unpopular with some investors and experts who argue it does not make sense when the oil price is so low. 

The price of Brent crude plummeted to an 11-year low yesterday as excess supply continued to flood the market. 

Oil production is running close to record highs and Brent futures fell by as much as 2 per cent to a low of just above $36 a barrel, their weakest since July 2004.

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Oil majors BP and Royal Dutch Shell spring a leak after Middle East oil cartel Opec fails to slash production

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By PHILIP WALLER FOR THE DAILY MAIL

PUBLISHED: 21:50, 4 December 2015

Oil majors sprang a leak but airlines flew higher after Middle East oil cartel Opec failed to slash production.

Shares in BP fell 8.85p to 359.7p and Royal Dutch Shell surrendered 29.5p to 1599.5p as the oil-producing club opted to keep pumping near-record volumes of crude.

The price of a barrel of Brent crude was 0.8 per cent down at $43.49 and the cost of US light crude dropped nearly 2 per cent to around $40 amid fears of a continued supply glut.

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Paralysed Opec pleads for allies as oil price crumbles

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By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard: 04 Dec 2015

The Opec cartel is to continue flooding the world with crude oil despite a chronic glut and the desperate plight of its own members, demanding that Russia, Kazakhstan and other producers join forces before there can be output cuts.

Brent prices tumbled almost $2 a barrel to $42.90 as traders tried to make sense of the fractious Opec gathering in Vienna, which ended with no production target and no guidance on policy. It reeked of paralysis.

Prices are poised to test lows last seen at the depths of the financial crisis in early 2009. The shares of oil companies plummeted in London, and US shale drillers went into freefall on Wall Street.

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Oil Price Crumbles

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By Ed Crooks
December 4, 2015

Late on Thursday afternoon, after a gathering that took longer than expected and left the markets on tenterhooks, the Opec meeting in Vienna came up with its decision: ministers agreed to do nothing at all, leaving production at current levels.

Before they gathered on Friday the FT team in Vienna wrote on the fundamental conflict inside the oil-exporting countries’ group: Saudi Arabia is prepared to cut output to help stabilise prices, but only if other producers, both inside and outside Opec, are prepared to do the same.

Explaining the reasons behind the plunge in crude prices last year, and the reasons why Opec meetings are now so fraught, Martin Wolf, the FT’s chief economics commentator, looked at the implications of the US shale boom. The FT warned in an editorial that, as remote as the prospect might seem today, an oil shock could still hurt the world economy. By cutting investment in oil production, low prices are choking back future supplies. The Lex column highlighted one example of that: the financial pressures on the US shale oil industry, which are intensifying. The column argues that seeing the signs of strain in the US, “Saudi may be feeling some vindication”.

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In defence of Shell CEO Ben van Beurden

By a regular contributor

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Only one member of the EC is directly involved in North American activities, Marvin Odum. 

Perhaps worth noting is that investment decisions on the scale of the recent Shell write-offs would have required approval by the entire EC in the Hague long before BvB was around. Few of the EC members who made those decisions are still present. 

It seems strange that so many of the huge projects which have been abandoned are in North America, and serious questions need to be asked about why approval was given by the EC for these huge projects. Only one member of the EC is directly involved in North American activities, Marvin Odum. 

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Even as it walks away from Arctic drilling, Shell keeps door open for future work

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Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 14.03.31Posted on October 29, 2015 | By Jennifer A. Dlouhy

WASHINGTON — Shell is walking away from oil exploration in Arctic waters north of Alaska, but it isn’t ready to close the door completely.

Disappointing results from a critical test well at the company’s Burger prospect in the Chukchi Sea, combined with the high costs of developing the region and an “unpredictable regulatory environment” have prompted Royal Dutch Shell “to cease further exploration activity offshore Alaska for the foreseeable future,” CEO Ben van Beurden told reporters Thursday.

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Royal Dutch Shell’s share price tumbles as group posts dramatic loss as falling oil prices take toll

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Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 08.02.52by Catherine Neilan: 29 Oct 2015

Royal Dutch Shell’s share price tumbled this morning after it revealed a third quarter loss of $7.4bn (£4.8bn) as the company gets to grips with the falling oil price. 

The figures

The Anglo-Dutch oil giant posted its dramatic loss on the back of nearly $8bn-worth of exceptional items. Adjusted net income fell to $1.77bn, missing expectations that had put the figure at $2.92bn. 

Shell posted a CCS earnings loss of $6.12bn, 216 per cent lower than the same time last year. 

Cash flow from operating activities for the third quarter 2015 was $11.2bn, down from $12.8bn for the same quarter last year.  Meanwhile gearing has increased to 12.7 per cent, up from 11.7 per cent at the same point in 2014.   

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Shell Makes Biggest Net Loss in at Least a Decade on Price Slump

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Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 08.02.52Rakteem Katakey: 29 October 2015

  • Company reports net loss after taking $7.9 billion charge
  • Third-quarter adjusted profit drops 70% to $1.8 billion

Royal Dutch Shell Plc reported its biggest net loss in at least a decade as it wrote down the value of assets and lowered its oil-price expectations.

The company, which is buying BG Group Plc in the industry’s largest deal this year, reported a third-quarter net loss of $7.42 billion, compared with a profit of $4.46 billion a year earlier. It took charges totaling $7.89 billion following its withdrawal from Alaskan offshore exploration and a Canadian oil-sands project.

Profit adjusted for one-time items and inventory changes dropped 70 percent to $1.8 billion, The Hague-based Shell said Thursday in a statement. That missed the $2.92 billion average estimate of 17 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

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Shell share price: Company’s problems extend beyond oil prices, analyst says

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Screen Shot 2015-10-27 at 12.33.24Big bets on shale “destroyed huge amounts of capital” and the company has few growth assets…the firm is far more likely to remain a laggard than become a leader among the oil majors for the rest of this decade…

by Veselin Valchev: Tuesday, 27 Oct 2015

Royal Dutch Shell Plc (LON:RDSA) carries hefty baggage and even if oil prices were to recover back to $100 per barrel, it would not solve all the firm’s problems, argued senior Morningstar analyst Stephen Simko.

Big bets on shale “destroyed huge amounts of capital” and the company has few growth assets, Simko said.

The notable exception is the potential addition of BG Group’s Brazilian operations, should the proposed merger complete successfully. BG’s interests in the Santos Basin are estimated to hold more than three billion barrels of recoverable oil resources and are projected to break even at only $30-35 per barrel.

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BP and Shell slip up on Crude bottom

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ROYAL Dutch Shell and BP are set to blame the weak oil price for dramatic falls in third-quarter pre-tax profits and revenues, analysts say.

By GEOFF HO: Sun, Oct 25, 2015

The price of crude oil has nearly halved over the past 12 months because of a Saudi Arabia-led effort by the Opec cartel to crush competition from US shale oil operators. 

On Tuesday, BP is expected to say its third-quarter profits have slumped 57.5 per cent to $2.2billion (£1.4billion), with revenues down 47.6 per cent to $49.2billion (£31.9billion), even though analysts believe that its refining, processing and retail divisions have performed well. 

On Thursday, arch rival Shell is also likely to produce a weak set of results. 

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New Concern Over Quakes in Oklahoma Near a Hub of U.S. Oil

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Screen Shot 2015-10-15 at 10.41.53By MICHAEL WINESOCT. 14, 2015

A sharp earthquake in central Oklahoma last weekend has raised fresh concern about the security of a vast crude oil storage complex, close to the quake’s center, that sits at the crossroads of the nation’s oil pipeline network.

The magnitude 4.5 quake struck Saturday afternoon about three miles northwest of Cushing, roughly midway between Oklahoma City and Tulsa. The town of about 8,000 people is home to the so-called Cushing Hub, a sprawling tank farm that is among the largest oil storage facilities in the world.

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Shell had to write-down some of its shale assets in the U.S., after spending $24 billion on a bet that failed to pay off, with company executives regretting ever having made the investment.

By James Stafford: Wed, 14 October 2015

A new report finds that the largest oil companies are set to cut spending on exploration by at least half, potentially leading to very few new oil discoveries in the years ahead.

The report from investment bank Tudor, Pickering, Hold & Co., and reported by Fuel Fix, estimates that exploration budgets among the oil majors will drop to $25 billion in 2016, down from $50 billion from just a few years ago. Obviously, low oil prices are taking their toll, forcing deep spending cuts in a desperate attempt to shore up profitability. But the cuts have large implications for the energy sector, increasing the chances that some large oil fields remain undeveloped for years.

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Russia abandons hope of oil price recovery and turns to the plough

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Russia has abandoned hopes for a lasting recovery in oil prices, bracing for a new era of abundant crude as US shale production transforms the global energy market.

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President Vladimir Putin answers questions during an interview for Russian television

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard: 14 Oct 2015

The Kremlin has launched a radical shift in strategy, rationing funds for the once-sacrosanct oil and gas industry and relying instead on a revival of manufacturing and farming, driven by a much more competitive rouble.

“We have to have prudent forecasts. Our budget is based very conservative assumptions of oil at around $50 a barrel,” said Vladimir Putin, the Russian president.

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