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Analysis: Oil giants unlikely to share coal’s fate, for now

Ron Bousso, Simon Jessop, Susanna Twidale: NOVEMBER 17, 2017

The move by the $1 trillion fund, the world’s largest, rattled stock markets, exposing what is seen as one of the biggest threats to companies such as Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil and BP as the world shifts towards renewable energy such as wind and solar.

But in the meantime, expectations of growing global demand for oil and gas for decades to come mean reliance on these companies is likely to continue.

And although the Norwegian initiative will encourage those seeking to hasten the move to a low-carbon economy, the degree to which other investors can follow the fund’s example, at least in the short term, is less clear.

The European oil and gas index fell on Friday to its lowest since late September, extending declines following the Norwegian fund’s announcement. read more

Norway Idea to Exit Oil Stocks Is ‘Shot Heard Around the World’

Norway’s proposal to sell off $35 billion in oil and natural gas stocks brings sudden and unparalleled heft to a once-grassroots movement to enlist investors in the fight against climate change.

The Nordic nation’s $1 trillion sovereign wealth fund said Thursday that it’s considering unloading its shares of Exxon Mobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell Plc and other oil giants to diversify its holdings and guard against drops in crude prices. European oil stocks fell.

Norges Bank Investment Management would not be the first institutional investor to back away from fossil fuels. But until now, most have been state pension funds, universities and other smaller players that have limited their divestments to coal, tar sands or some of the other dirtiest fossil fuels. Norway’s fund is the world’s largest equity investor, controlling about 1.5 percent of global stocks. If it follows through on its proposal, it would be the first to abandon the sector altogether. read more

Big Oil is under pressure, unloved and on sale. 

  • Norway wants to dump its stakes in oil and gas companies
  • Proposal adds to doubts over industry’s long-term outlook

Big Oil is under pressure, unloved and on sale.

Energy giants from Exxon Mobil Corp. to Royal Dutch Shell Plc are struggling back to their feet after a three-year oil slump, while also fighting to prove they can survive for decades to come amid an accelerating shift to clean energy. So getting dumped by the world’s biggest investment fund wouldn’t be welcome news.

Norway’s $1 trillion sovereign wealth fund said on Thursday that it wants to sell about $35 billion of shares in oil and gas companies to make the nation “less vulnerable” to a drop in crude prices. Global energy giants favored by long-term investors including Italy’s Eni SpA, PetroChina Ltd. and Russia’s Gazprom PJSC account for more than $20 billion of that total. read more

World’s Biggest Wealth Fund Wants Out of Oil and Gas

The $1 trillion fund that Norway has amassed pumping oil and gas over the past two decades wants out of petroleum stocks.  

Norway, which relies on oil and gas for about a fifth of economic output, would be less vulnerable to declining crude prices without its fund investing in the industry, the central bank said Thursday. The divestment would mark the second major step in scrubbing the world’s biggest wealth fund of climate risk, after it sold most of its coal stocks.

“Our perspective here is to spread the risks for the state’s wealth,” Egil Matsen, the deputy central bank governor overseeing the fund, said in an interview in Oslo. “We can do that better by not adding oil-price risk.” read more

UPDATE 2-Dutch court rejects government’s Groningen gas production plan

Wednesday’s decision was met with jubilation from Groningen citizens, many of whom have seen their houses damaged by the thousands of small earthquakes triggered by the gas extraction.

By Bart H. Meijer: NOVEMBER 15, 2017

THE HAGUE, Nov 15 (Reuters) – The highest Dutch administrative court has rejected the government’s plan to cap production at a major gas field that has caused damaging earthquakes, saying it might be possible to cut output further without endangering supplies.

The decision adds another chapter to the long fight over gas production in the northern Dutch province of Groningen, where citizens accuse the government of endangering their lives while protecting gas revenues. read more

As Oil Prices Rise, Global Majors Eyeing Mexico’s Deep Waters

By Adam Williams: 9 November 2017, 21:27 GMT: Updated on 10 November 2017, 05:01 GMT

As the price of oil rises, an international rush is on for Mexico’s untapped deep-water riches.

The who’s who of the oil world — led by Exxon Mobil Corp and Royal Dutch Shell Plc, the world’s two biggest drillers by market value — are lining up to bid in the country’s Jan. 31 deep-water auction. And the interest is international in scope, drawing Chevron Corp. from the U.S., the U.K.’s BP Plc, Norway’s Statoil ASA, France’s Total SA, Australia’s BHP Billiton Ltd, Russia’s Lukoil PJSC and China’s Cnooc Ltd, among others. read more

Peak oil? Majors aren’t buying into the threat from renewables

Ernest Scheyder, Ron Bousso: NOVEMBER 8, 2017 HOUSTON/LONDON (Reuters) – Two decades ago, BP set out to transcend oil, adopting a sunburst logo to convey its plans to pour $8 billion over a decade into renewable technologies, even promising to power its gas stations with the sun.

That transformation – marketed as “Beyond Petroleum” – led to manufacturing solar panels in Australia, Spain and the United States and erecting wind farms in the United States and the Netherlands.

Today, BP (BP.L) might be more aptly branded “Back to Petroleum” after exiting or scaling back its renewable energy investments. Lower-cost Chinese components upended its solar panel business, which the firm shed in 2011. A year later, BP tried to sell its U.S. wind power business but couldn’t get a buyer. read more

Why Royal Dutch Shell’s Value Increased by $10 Billion in October

Shell has had a great year, and October added to the up trend, even though there wasn’t much actual news.

Reuben Gregg Brewer (TMFReubenGBrewer) Nov 6, 2017 at 4:32PM

What happened

Shares of Royal Dutch Shell plc (NYSE:RDS-B) rose 4.5% in October, which doesn’t sound like a huge amount until you consider it in dollar terms. That move is the equivalent of a $10 billion increase in the integrated oil major’s market cap. By comparison, competitor Chevron‘s stock fell more than 1% and ExxonMobil was up just 1.5% (or so) in the month. That, however, is the continuation of a trend, since Shell has been outperforming its peers all year long.

So what

The interesting thing is that there wasn’t much news to drive Shell’s performance last month. However, since around July and August, Shell has been on a tear. There are two parts to this solid showing. First, oil has been heading in a generally upward direction since about that point. Shell is a commodity company, so energy prices will be a big piece of the performance puzzle. read more

Shell Swallows BG Group Whole Hog, Rolls Up Cash Flow

Ray Merola: Nov. 6, 2017

Summary

  • Shell is enjoying a remarkably successful corporate resurgence.
  • Legacy BG Group opex and capex has been absorbed entirely without a loss of combined hydrocarbon volumes.
  • Cash is king.
  • Debt is trending down.  The dividend is well-covered.  Returns are solid, and improving.
  • I remain constructive on RDS stock.

I’ve been pounding my fist on the table for Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) (RDS.B) for a couple of years now. It’s been that one, “fat pitch” worth waiting upon; these don’t come along very often. Since the end of 2015, ADR shares offered investors ~54% total return, or an 80% gain since the stock bottomed in January 2016.

The 3Q report included the hallmarks of recent previous quarters: linked-quarter revenue growth, continued strong cash flow, improving return-on-capital, reduced gearing, steady production, and ample dividend coverage. Details are found here. read more

Royal Dutch Shell: The Cash Machine

 Nov. 6, 2017 12:35 PM ET

Summary

  • Royal Dutch Shell has reported nearly 50% increase in profits following improvement in energy prices which fueled a turnaround of its upstream division.
  • In the first three quarters of 2017, Royal Dutch Shell generated $15.42 billion of free cash flows (ex. working cap. changes), surpassing even the industry’s cash flow king Exxon Mobil.
  • Oil prices have climbed to almost $61 a barrel and could stay at this level in the future, which could give a major boost to Shell’s earnings and cash flows.

Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) is a well-oiled cash flow machine. In fact, it generates more free cash flows than any other oil majors, and this was evident from the latest quarterly results. The Anglo-Dutch oil giant could get even better in 2018 on the back of improvement in oil prices. The company’s shares will likely move higher while its valuation might also improve.

Latest Earnings

Royal Dutch Shell has recently released blowout quarterly results in which it posted significantly higher profits following a strong performance from its upstream, downstream and integrated gas divisions. The company reported an adjusted net profit (attributable to shareholders on a current cost of supplies (CCS) basis) of $4.1 billion, up 47% from the same quarter last year. That blew past the company-provided analysts’ estimate of $3.6 billion. The profits at the upstream segment ballooned from just $4 million a year earlier to $562 million. The profits at the downstream and integrated gas segments rose 28.4% and 37.7% to $2.67 billion and $1.28 billion respectively. read more

Royal Dutch Shell takes cashflow crown off Exxon Mobil

Royal Dutch Shell has taken Exxon Mobil’s cashflow crown, a year after completing the biggest deal in its history.

Europe’s largest energy company vaulted ahead on this closely watched indicator of financial health in the first nine months of 2017 as assets acquired from BG Group from Brazil to Australia churned out cash. For the year as a whole, Shell is on course to surpass its larger US rival on the measure for the first time in about two decades.

Shell generated $28.38 billion (€24.34bn) of cashflow from operations in the first nine months of the year, compared with $23.52 billion (€20.18bn) from Exxon. Chief executive Ben Van Beurden has already spelled out that his main long-term goal was overtaking Exxon to become the best-performing oil major. read more

Shell ‘less concerned’ about Groningen natural gas quota impact than production safety: CFO

London (Platts)–2 Nov 2017 958 am EDT/1358 GMT

Anglo-Dutch major Shell is willing to take a financial hit on production from the giant Groningen gas field in the Netherlands to ensure that output can be achieved safely, company CFO Jessica Uhl said Thursday.

Speaking to reporters after it published its Q3 earnings, Uhl said Shell — which has a 50% stake in Groningen operator NAM — is focusing on safe production from the field.

“We are working with our partners and with the [Dutch] government to ensure we operate safely — that’s the priority,” Uhl said. read more

Shell beats profit forecasts, targets lower 2017 spending

Ron Bousso

LONDON (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) reported an 18 percent rise in third-quarter profit on Tuesday, lowering next year’s capital spending to the bottom of the expected range as it grapples with persistently low oil prices and weak refining margins.

The Anglo-Dutch oil major, whose acquisition of BG Group transformed it into the world’s top liquefied natural gas producer, has been under pressure from shareholders to cut annual spending to ensure it can maintain its dividend given the slow recovery in the oil prices LCOc1. read more

Shell, BP, Exxon big winners in historic Brazil oil auction

Oct. 27, 2017 5:45 PM ET|About: BP p.l.c. (BP)|By: , SA News Editor

  • Brazil auctioned off six of eight exploration blocks in today’s historic opening of its coveted pre-salt offshore oil region to foreign operators, exceeding the government’s expectations with commitments for 6.15B reais ($1.88B) in signing bonuses.
  • Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) was especially active, winning stakes in half the blocks awarded and bolstering its position as the largest foreign operator in Brazil’s offshore oil sector, second only to state-run Petrobras (NYSE:PBR); Shell believes it can pump oil from the pre-salt fields at below $40/bbl.
  • BP took two blocks, including the Peroba block, which is estimated to contain 5.3B barrels of oil; it won as part of a consortium that included PBR and a Chinese group.
  • Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) grabbed the Norte de Carcará block – which holds an estimated 2.2B barrels of oil, in a consortium with Statoil (NYSE:STO), which says it also sold a stake in a nearby block to XOM for $1.3B.
  • Brazil Pres. Temer says the auction will generate investments of more than 100B reais ($30B) in the country by the winning oil companies.
  • read more

    Shell, Exxon win blocks in Brazil’s pre-salt oil auction

    OCTOBER 27, 2017

    RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Oil majors Royal Dutch Shell RDSA.L and Exxon Mobil (XOM.N) won blocks in Brazil’s coveted pre-salt oil region in an auction on Friday.

    Shell was part of consortia that won two of the four blocks on offer in the first part of an eight block auction. 

    Exxon, in a consortium with Norway’s Statoil (STL.OL) and Portugal’s Petrogal, a unit of Galp Energia (GALP.LS), won another. There were no bids for the fourth block. 

    Another four blocks will be auctioned later on Friday. The eight blocks on offer contain a total of more than 12 billion barrels of estimated oil reserves. read more

    Profits Jump at Exxon, Chevron, Total

    World’s biggest Western energy companies are on track to post highest annual profits since oil market crashed three years ago

    By Bradley Olson and Sarah Kent

    Big oil is back in the black.

    The world’s biggest Western energy companies are on track to post the highest annual profits since the oil market crashed three years ago and forced them to restructure for a prolonged era of low prices. FULL ARTICLE

    Brazil vs. Mexico: Latin America’s fight for Big Oil’s money

    “Both are attractive. Both have real potential,” said Wael Sawan, Shell’s executive vice president for deepwater. “We have as a company, I think as an industry, scarce capital resources to be able to make the investments that the particular projects in deep water require.”

    OCTOBER 27, 2017

    After two waves of resource nationalism that left few openings in Latin America for energy giants such as Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N), Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSa.L) and Total (TOTF.PA), the tables are turning.

    Governments throughout the continent are enacting reforms and changing contract terms to lure oil firms that have slashed spending as they adapt to lower crude prices. Global policy changes to address climate change have given an added sense of urgency to governments in the region and worldwide that are sitting on oil and gas reserves. They want to pump it before it becomes less valuable. read more

    Brazil judge suspends pre-salt oil auctions set for Friday

    OCTOBER 27, 2017

    BRASILIA, Oct 26 (Reuters) – A federal judge in the Brazilian state of Amazonas issued an injunction on Thursday ordering the suspension of the billion-dollar auctions of pre-salt oil and gas rights scheduled for Friday.

    The injunction was sought by the leftist Workers Party and could easily be overturned if appealed, as is often the case in Brazil.

    Major oil firms are vying for the blocks in Brazil’s offshore pre-salt area, where billions of barrels of oil are trapped under a layer of salt. read more

    Amid Low Prices, Oil Giants Gush About Breaking Even

    By Sarah Kent Dow Jones Newswires

    The world’s biggest oil companies have a suddenly popular measure for success: breaking even.

    Once obscure and little noted, the break-even number has become an obsession for investors in oil giants such as Exxon Mobil Corp., BP PLC and Chevron Corp. as crude prices stay mired between $50 and $60 a barrel. At its simplest, the metric represents the oil price that a company needs to generate enough cash so it can cover its capital spending and dividend payouts. read more

    Gas producers pumping up demand

    • The Wall Street Journal

    After spending hundreds of billions of dollars to transform themselves into global natural gas giants, some of the world’s biggest energy companies face a new challenge: generating more demand as supplies threaten to balloon and prices languish.

    Companies including Royal Dutch Shell, Total and Cheniere Energy are trying to establish new markets for liquefied natural gas, a super-chilled version of the fuel that can be shipped around the world. Producers are promoting the use of LNG for industrial trucking and shipping. Companies also say they are considering building the power plants and infrastructure necessary to provide gas and electricity in developing markets such as South Africa and Vietnam. read more

    Slowing Demand Growth to Push Big Oil From Cars to Chemicals

    Global oil demand growth will slow to a crawl and gasoline use will peak within the next decade, prompting the world’s biggest energy companies to accelerate the shift to natural gas and chemicals, according to consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd.

    Major crude producers will have to adapt to significant changes in the coming years, but their businesses can grow. Oil consumption will keep expanding until at least 2035 as the petrochemical industry, which provides the building blocks to manufacture everything from plastics to pesticides, makes up for the contraction in some transport fuels, Wood Mackenzie said in a report on Monday. read more

    Shunning fossil fuels, 40 Catholic groups seek climate action

    Environment Correspondent Alister Doyle: OCTOBER 3, 2017

    OSLO (Reuters) – Forty Roman Catholic groups said on Tuesday they were shunning investments in fossil fuels and urged others to follow suit.

    The coalition was the largest number of Catholic institutions, in countries including Australia, South Africa, Britain and the United States, to team up for a shift to greener energies, the Global Catholic Climate Movement said.

    Among those taking part was Assisi’s Sacro Convento and other Catholic institutions in the Italian town, birthplace of Saint Francis, who inspired Pope Francis. read more

    Australian gas supply crunch squeezes east coast LNG exporters

    UPDATE 2-Gas export curbs loom as Australia’s east faces gas shortfall

    By Sonali Paul

    MELBOURNE, Sept 25 (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell, ConocoPhillips and Santos face curbs on exporting gas from Australia’s east coast in 2018 if they fail to plug a projected local supply shortfall, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull warned on Monday.

    Eastern Australia faces a gas shortfall of up to 17 percent of market demand in 2018, the nation’s energy market operator and competition watchdog projected in reports submitted to the government on Monday that will be the basis for a decision by Nov. 1 on whether to limit exports. read more

    Statoil Vies for a Stake in Abu Dhabi’s Offshore Oil

    Statoil ASA is among producers involved in discussions with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. about joining offshore production in the emirate, according to a Norwegian diplomatic dispatch.

    “All the major oil companies, including Statoil, are positioning themselves for a cooperation with Adnoc in the offshore segment,” Norway’s embassy in Abu Dhabi wrote in a message to the Foreign Ministry in Oslo dated Aug. 17, which was obtained by Bloomberg through a freedom-of-information request. read more

    California cities sue big oil firms over climate change

    Gary McWilliams: SEPTEMBER 21, 2017 / 2:34 AM

    (Reuters) – California cities San Francisco and Oakland filed separate lawsuits against five oil companies on Wednesday seeking billions of dollars to protect against rising sea levels they blamed on climate change, according to public documents.

    The lawsuits, filed in state courts in San Francisco and Alameda Counties, alleged Chevron Corp, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil Corp, BP Plc, and Royal Dutch Shell Plc, created a public nuisance and asked for funds to finance infrastructure to deal with rising sea levels. read more

    San Francisco sues Big Oil for billions over climate change claiming they knew the dangers for decades

    ‘Instead of owning up to it, they copied a page from the Big Tobacco playbook,’ says San Francisco’s city attorney

    The Golden Gate Bridge across San Francisco Bay

    The US cities of San Francisco and Oakland are suing five of the world’s largest oil companies for the coasts of walls and other defences against rising sea levels, saying the industry made vast profits from fossil fuels while knowing they were causing “an existential threat to humankind”.

    Drawing a direct comparison to the tobacco industry’s sale of cigarettes despite knowledge of the health risks, the city attorneys announced they had filed separate lawsuits against BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil, Chevron and ConocoPhillips. read more

    SF, Oakland sue top five oil and gas companies over climate change

    San Francisco and Oakland on Wednesday announced lawsuits against five major oil and gas companies. (Courtesy photo)

    The lawsuits against Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil, BP and Royal Dutch Shell claim the companies have known for decades that global warming and sea level rise were accelerated by the investor-owned producers of fossil fuels, but the companies still continued to “aggressively produce, market and sell vast quantities of fossil fuels for a global market”

    By on September 20, 2017 10:59 am

    The cities of San Francisco and Oakland have filed separate lawsuits against five major oil and gas companies for allegedly contributing to the costs of climate change and sea level rise by producing massive amounts of fossil fuels, city leaders announced Wednesday.

    The lawsuits against Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil, BP and Royal Dutch Shell claim the companies have known for decades that global warming and sea level rise were accelerated by the investor-owned producers of fossil fuels, but the companies still continued to “aggressively produce, market and sell vast quantities of fossil fuels for a global market,” according to a news release from the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office. read more

    Shell to Expand Presence in Asia and Alternative Fuel Market

    September 20, 2017, 01:35:00 PM EDT By Zacks Equity Research,

    Per Reuters, integrated oil and gas company, Royal Dutch Shell plc RDS.Aintends to increase its marketing operations in Asia region. The company’s effort to de-carbonize the energy system was reconfirmed as it targets to attain 20% of its global fuel station sales from electric vehicles recharging and fuels with a lower level of carbon by 2025.

    Expanding Asia Operations

    The oil major has 43,000 fuel stations in 80 countries and is now trying to reach the fuel markets of China and India, the two most populous countries in the world with high demand for energy. Shell is also eyeing the Indonesian fuel market. The company believes there will be continued growth in the Asian market over the next decade. read more

    Big Oil Becomes Greener With Cuts to Greenhouse Gas Pollution

    It’s no secret that oil majors are among the biggest corporate emitters of pollution. What may be surprising is that they’re reducing their greenhouse-gas footprints every year, actively participating in a trend that’s swept up most corporate behemoths.

    Sixty-two of the world’s 100 largest companies consistently cut their emissions on an annual basis between 2010 and 2015, with an overall 12 percent decline during that period, according to a report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance released ahead of its conference in London on Monday. read more

    Oil Majors Cut Greenhouse Gas Pollution

    By Foster Wong: 18 September 2017

    Big Oil had started fighting climate change before President Donald Trump took office read more

    UPDATE 1-Kazakhstan may strike separate deal with OPEC on oil output curbs

    Kashagan has been developed by a consortium of China National Petroleum Corp, Exxon Mobil, Eni , Royal Dutch Shell, Total, Inpex and KazMunaiGas.

    By Mariya Gordeyeva: SEPTEMBER 7, 2017 / 2:28 PM

    ASTANA, Sept 7 (Reuters) – Kazakhstan is aiming for a standalone deal with leading global oil producers on restraining its crude production due to a need to crank up output at its Kashagan field, a Kazakh official said on Thursday. 

    The Central Asian nation increased oil and gas condensate output by 9.9 percent in January-July to 49.907 million tonnes, or 1.724 million barrels per day (bpd), exceeding its quota of 1.7 million bpd under a global supply pact. read more

    What You Missed in Royal Dutch Shell plc’s Quarterly Report

    Global energy giant Royal Dutch Shell hinted at how one number, over time, could change the future of the company

    Reuben Gregg Brewer: (TMFReubenGBrewer): Sep 1, 2017 at 9:16AM Royal Dutch Shell plc (NYSE:RDS-A) (NYSE:RDS-B) is one of the world’s largest integrated oil majors. It competes with the likes of ExxonMobil, Chevron, and Total. It recently doubled down on the energy business with a $50 billion acquisition. But while it’s working to pay off the debt it took on to get that deal done, CEO Ben van Beurden made an interesting statement about the future that you may have missed in the numbers of Shell’s quarterly report.

    What Shell looks like now

    There’s no question about how Royal Dutch Shell makes money. It is one of the world’s largest oil and natural gas drillers, with a large footprint in liquified natural gas. Oil and gas have been the driving force, broadly speaking, throughout all of the company’s over 100-years of existence. Investor questions generally focus on what management is doing to support and grow its core operations.

    In the first half of the year that included capital spending of roughly $11.5 billion. The goal for the year is for capital spending of between $25 and $30 billion. Right now management expects to be toward the low-end of that range. That range, meanwhile, is the goal every year from now until 2020. read more

    Shell, Exxon say some pollution released as storm hits Texas

    Pollutants have been released from refineries operated by Exxon, Shell and other companies as torrential rains damaged storage tanks and other industrial facilities on the Texas Coast.

    Shell told state regulators this week that a floating roof over a tank at its oil refinery in Deer Park, Texas, partially sank during the heavy rainfall. The company said 100 pounds of benzene and 100 pounds of toluene were released.

    A similar event happened at Exxon Mobil Corp.’s refinery in Baytown, Texas. David Gray, a spokesman for the Environmental Protection Agency, said the company reported the release of 15 pounds of benzene. The EPA classifies benzene as a carcinogen. Toluene, a solvent, is less toxic.

    A Shell spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    “This is an unprecedented storm, and we have taken every effort to minimize emissions and safely shut down equipment,” said Exxon spokeswoman Charlotte Huffaker. She said the Irving, Texas-based company was monitoring emission levels and was committed to complying with environmental laws. read more

    Hurricane Harvey Tosses Global Oil Markets Into Chaos

    By Nick Cunningham – Aug 28, 2017, 6:00 PM CDT

    The most powerful Hurricane to hit Texas in more than 50 years has devastated much of the coast, and the historic flooding is now causing havoc in the energy markets.

    The rain is not over, and will continue over the next few days, spilling a year’s worth of rain within a week.

    ExxonMobil shut down its Baytown refinery, the second largest in the United States with a capacity of 560,500 bpd. Royal Dutch Shell closed its 360,000 bpd Deer Park refinery, according to S&P Global Platts, and Phillips 66 shut down its 247,000 bpd Sweeny refinery. read more

    CLF Sues Shell After DEM and EPA Ignore Company’s Violations of Clean Water Act

    By TIM FAULKNER/ecoRI News staff: August 29, 2017

    PROVIDENCE — The Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) is again taking on a fossil-fuel titan. This time, the environmental legal firm is suing Royal Dutch Shell and its many subsidiaries for violating the Clean Water Act at its oil storage and fuel terminal on Allens Avenue.

    CLF says it was forced to take Shell to court after the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) were notified of Clean Water Act violations but failed to take action.

    In addition to polluting the Providence River, the terminal is also accused of failing to plan for sea-level rise and other climate-change impacts. According to state flood maps, the terminal would be flooded by any category of hurricane.

    “We can’t wait around for the next natural disaster to inundate our communities. Shell’s facility sits on the banks of the Providence River, poised to spew toxic chemicals into our waters and our neighborhoods with no adequate safeguards in place,” CLF president Bradley Campbell said. read more

    Shell halts operations at Deer Park refinery

    Royal Dutch Shell said Sunday the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey is causing the shutdown of its massive refining and petrochemical complex in Deer Park.

    Shell is closing one of Texas’ largest refineries, which can refine more than 315,000 barrels of crude oil a day into gasoline and other petroleum products.

    “The top priority of Shell Deer Park is to operate in a safe and environmentally sound manner. Due to continued inclement weather conditions from Hurricane Harvey, Shell Deer Park is conducting a controlled/planned shut down of the refinery and chemical plant,” Shell said in an email response. read more

    Harvey, Biggest Hurricane Since 2005, Spiraling Toward Texas Coast

    According to Reuters, oil and gas companies, including Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell, have halted production and are evacuating employees from their facilities in the Gulf of Mexico. 

    Posted By on Thu, Aug 24, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    What was a mere “tropical depression” on Wednesday has quickly turned into a grown-ass, potentially life-threatening hurricane. The National Hurricane Center has now predicted that Hurricane Harvey, the storm brewing the the Gulf of Mexico, will the Texas shores Friday night with 125 mph winds, drenching the coastline from Corpus Christi east to the Louisiana border with up to 2 feet of rain.

    The NHC predicts Bexar County will be hit with up to 10 inches of rain over the weekend, and the county’s officially under a flash flood warning. Monica Ramos, a county spokeswoman, said that public works crews are preparing for heavy flooding  — especially in the city’s south side — by  monitoring creeks, drainage ways, and low water crossings as the storm grows near. read more

    Total overtakes Shell in North Sea where appetite for assets remains high

    AUGUST 22, 2017 / 2:13 PM

    LONDON (Reuters) – French oil major Total (TOTF.PA) has overtaken rival Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) to become the second-largest producer in the North Sea with its acquisition of Maersk’s (MAERSKb.CO) Norwegian and UK producing assets.

    The $7.45 billion deal by Total was welcomed by the market, with analysts saying it helped the French company rebalance its portfolio by adding assets in developed countries after going for projects in riskier places such as Iran and Russia. read more

    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 producers signal offshore return in latest Gulf of Mexico auction

     Unused oil rigs sit in the Gulf of Mexico near Port Fourchon, Louisiana August 11, 2010. Lee Celano/File Photo

    Royal Dutch Shell claimed the largest number of blocks, with 19 high bids valued at a combined $25.1 million.

    Liz Hampton: AUGUST 16, 2017

    HOUSTON (Reuters) – Major oil producers pushed up high bids at a Gulf of Mexico offshore auction to $121 million (94.08 million pounds) on Wednesday, a nearly seven-fold increase from a year ago, as their return to deep water exploration gained momentum.

    This compared with $18 million in high bids at the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) Outer Continental Shelf auction last summer. read more

    Shell and Exxon punished by Dutch ad authority for fossil fuel claim

    The television ad stated that natural gas was “the cleanest of all fossil fuels.”

    This is the second time in 2017 that Dutch advertising authorities have sought to punish the oil and gas industry with Statoil reprimanded for claiming gas to be “clean energy” and “low emissions fuel” in June.

    The Dutch Advertising Code Authority stated that the term “cleanest fossil fuel” was not in line with the MRC (the Dutch advertising code).

    Friends of the Earth Europe co-filed the complaint.

    Paul de Clerk of Friends of the Earth Europe, said: “This clear ruling by the advertisement standards board is of great importance. Time after time we see how oil and gas companies are misleading citizens and politicians. read more

    Exxon, Shell Censured for Claiming Natural Gas Is ‘Cleanest’ Fossil Fuel

    By Farron Cousins: 15 August 2017

    For many years, a standard talking point from the fossil fuel industry and those who speak on the industry’s behalf has been that natural gas is a cleaner alternative to conventional energy sources like coal and oil. This talking point is at least partially responsible for many people—including former President Barack Obama and his Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz—believing that natural gas can act as a “bridge fuel” in the eventual shift from coal and oil to renewable sources of energy. read more

    Big Oil Follows Silicon Valley Into Backing Green Energy Firms

    Oil majors quietly investing into new technology start-ups

    ‘Disruptive power’ from small companies prompts Shell to move

    Major oil companies are joining Silicon Valley in backing energy-technology start-ups, a signal that that those with the deepest pockets in the industry are casting around for a new strategy.

    From Royal Dutch Shell Plc to Total SA and Exxon Mobil Corp., the biggest investor-owned oil companies are dribbling money into ventures probing the edge of energy technologies. The investments go beyond wind and solar power into projects that improve electricity grids and brew new fuels from renewable resources. read more

    Shell Prepares For A Different Energy Reality

    : 14 August 2017

    Summary

    • This summer has seen the governments of several of the world’s major economies propose to eliminate internal combustion engine vehicles over the next 10-30 years.
    • At the same time, Royal Dutch Shell announced several major clean energy investments over the summer in anticipation of a drop-off in petroleum demand.
    • This article looks at how Shell’s clean energy investments fit into its energy profile forecasts compared to its peers.

    This summer has been filled with the sort of headlines that can give strategic planners in the petroleum & gas sector heartburn. One-upping Germany’s earlier non-binding pledge to ban new internal combustion engine [ICE] vehicles by 2030, the government of France’s new centrist president Emmanuel Macron announced in early July that the country will end sales of ICE vehicles by 2040. This move, which is part of that country’s efforts to comply with its greenhouse gas emission reduction target under 2015’s Paris Climate Agreement, would eliminate gasoline- and diesel-only engines and is aimed at reducing the country’s air pollution as it is at mitigating climate change. Britain intends to do the same by 2050. Even China and India, which have long been posited as important future sources of petroleum demand, are moving to electrify their vehicle fleets: China recently announced that it wants 25% of the country’s vehicles to be “alternative fuel” by 2025, while India is drafting plans to electrify all of its vehicles by 2030. read more

    Exxon Knew, Shell Knew, They All Knew

    08/09/2017 07:17 am ET

    In 2015, the Union of Concerned Scientists published its landmark exposé“The Climate Deception Dossiers,” which show that not only Exxon, but also Shell, BP, ConocoPhillips, Chevron and coal giant Peabody Energy were aware of the climate change reality since the 70s. Even so, through special interest groups, they invested tens of millions “to sow doubt and promote contrarian arguments they knew to be wrong.”

    The fuel that powers this planetary sabotage is called greed. The fossil fuel industry worldwide has accumulated stratospheric levels of wealth over the decades. Moreover, according to a report just published by World Development, in 2015, fossil fuels received a staggering $5.3 trillion in subsidies around the world. This includes not only taxpayer money but also the costs of deaths caused by pollution and these fuels’ contribution to the climate crisis. read more

    The Secret Behind Better Oil Major Earnings

    By Gregory Brew – Aug 02, 2017, 6:00 PM CDT

    After several years of austerity and belt-tightening, the major international oil companies posted substantial profits in Q2 of 2017. The five largest private oil companies together generated more than $30 billion in profit, an indication that most have successfully adapted to the current bout of low prices, while a few have publicly indicated their belief that prices will hover around $50 for the foreseeable future.

    What this means is that the “mega projects” that dominated many companies’ balance sheets for the last decade will become increasingly rare, as the majors pivot towards short-term, low-risk ventures with a faster turnaround. A closer look at each company shows how individual firms have adapted in distinct ways to this new era. read more

    Shale drillers show few signs of slowing as profits expand

    Shale drillers show few signs of slowing as profits expand

    The optimism from the U.S. shale fields followed quarterly reports last week that showed major international producers including Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell Plc are also learning to make money at $50 a barrel…

    Alex Nussbaum and Joe Carroll, Bloomberg: Published 6:46 am, Wednesday, August 2, 2017

    The shale surge that’s tied down global oil prices shows no signs of abating, as four of the biggest U.S. drillers said they’re not backing away from lofty production targets for 2017.

    In second-quarter earnings reports, EOG Resources Inc., Devon Energy Corp., Newfield Exploration Co. and Diamondback Energy Inc. all outlined goals on Tuesday that would help push U.S. output toward a record 10 million barrels a day next year. Even Pioneer Natural Resources Co., which trimmed the top end of its forecast due to delays in the Permian shale basin, still expects to increase oil and natural gas volumes by 16 percent at year’s end. read more

    Oil Companies at Last See Path to Profits After Painful Spell

    ABERDEEN, Scotland — This port city built of granite on the North Sea has taken a battering in recent years. Plunging oil prices hit the petroleum industry, which dominates the economy. Tens of thousands of jobs were slashed. Projects worth billions of dollars were sent back to the drawing board.

    Oil executives here now speak with a relief similar to survivors of a fierce storm.

    “I feel good about the North Sea, to tell you the truth,” Mark J. Thomas, North Sea regional president for the oil giant BP, said in an interview at the company’s offices near Aberdeen’s airport. “It is remarkably different than where we were even just a few years ago.” read more

    Cheap oil forcing a rethink, says Royal Dutch Shell

    • The Wall Street Journal

    Royal Dutch Shell has presented a pessimistic vision for the future of oil, even as the company reported success in generating cash during a prolonged energy downturn.

    Shell has cut costs and said it was preparing for a world in which crude prices might never regain precrash levels and petroleum demand declined.

    Shell chief executive Ben van Beurden said the company had a mindset that oil prices would remain “lower forever” .

    “We have to have projects that are resilient in a world where oil has peaked,” Mr van Beurden told reporters on a conference call discussing the company’s second-quarter financial results. “When it will happen we don’t know, but that it will happen we are certain.” read more

    After false dawn, Big Oil to double down on cost cuts

    LONDON (Reuters) – After a brief respite at the start of the year, the world’s top oil and gas companies are set to double down on cost cutting as a recovery in crude prices after a three-year slump falters.

    Corporate hopes were raised by a deal between members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and other non-OPEC producers to cut production, which lifted oil prices above $58 a barrel in January, after they had slid to as low as $27 in 2016.

    But Brent crude prices have since slipped back below $50 and banks have lowered price forecasts, amid surging output from the United States and other nations not bound by the global oil pact. read more

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