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Nigeria draft oil reforms seek to establish powerful industry regulator

FILE PHOTO: The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) headquarters are seen in Abuja, Nigeria December 5, 2017. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde/File Photo

For decades, communities in the Niger Delta oil heartland have complained that spills and pollution have destroyed their land and killed off wildlife. Rights group Amnesty International accused international oil majors Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Eni SpA in March of negligence when addressing spills in Nigeria.

ABUJA (Reuters) – Nigeria’s government plans to create a powerful energy regulator with broad oversight of the oil and gas sector, according to draft versions of sweeping reforms known collectively as the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).

The draft laws, posted on the Nigerian legislature’s website on April 30, are the versions intended for the Senate, the upper house of parliament.

The PIB aims to improve transparency, attract investors, stimulate growth and increase government revenues.

After being debated for well over a decade, the unwieldly and contentious legislation was broken into sections to help it pass into law. read more

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Oil Companies Ask Judge to Kill NYC’s Global Warming Lawsuit

By Bob Van Voris: 4 May 2018, 23:09 BST Updated on 5 May 2018, 02:09 BST

Case affects global economy, national security, companies say

New York argues oil companies denied climate change science

This lawsuit is based upon the fundamental principle that a corporation that makes a product causing severe harm when used exactly as intended should shoulder the costs of abating that harm. Defendants here produced, marketed, and sold massive quantities of fossil fuels—primarily oil and natural gas—despite knowing that the combustion and use of fossil fuels emit greenhouse gases (“GHG pollution” or “GHGs”), primarily carbon dioxide (“CO2”). Defendants have also known for decades that GHG pollution accumulates and remains in the atmosphere for up to hundreds of years, where it traps heat, a process commonly referred to as “climate change” or “global warming,” and that this process would cause grave harm.

Five of the world’s biggest oil companies asked a judge to throw out New York City’s lawsuit seeking to hold them responsible for costs related to the environmental changes caused by their products. 

BP Plc, Chevron Corp., ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil Corp., and Royal Dutch Shell Plc argued that the court lacks the authority to resolve broad policy questions with “profound implications for the global economy, international relations and America’s national security.” read more

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Shell says fully committed to Iraq gas venture, plans ‘massive’ expansion

DUBAI (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) is fully committed to its gas joint venture in Iraq, after the energy major exited its oil assets in the OPEC country, and plans to boost its gas output there to 1.4 billion cubic feet (bcf) a day by 2020, a senior executive said.

Iraq’s gas development plans have long focused on Basra Gas Co (BGC), a $17 billion, 25-year project in which Iraq has 51 percent, Shell 44 percent and Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp (8058.T) 5 percent.

The project was designed to aggregate gas from fields in the south including West Qurna 1, operated by Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N); Zubair, operated by Italy’s Eni (ENI.MI); and Rumaila, developed by BP (BP.L). read more

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Cost of shutting off Groningen gas mounts, minister in dispute with Shell, Exxon

April 13, 2018

Economic affairs minister Eric Wiebes is embroiled in a dispute with Shell and ExxonMobil about the bill for closing the gas taps in Groningen, broadcaster NOS said on Friday.

The dispute revolves around a potential billion euro claim facing the Dutch state from the oil giants, NOS says. It bases its claim on documents obtained using freedom of information legislation.

If the plans goes ahead to close off the Groningen fields by 2030, some €50bn to €125bn worth of gas will remain underground. And documents from 2016 show the oil companies will make a claim against the Dutch state for lost income, the broadcaster said. read more

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SHELL, EXXON WANTS COMPENSATION FROM DUTCH GOV’T FOR GRONINGEN GAS LEFT UN-EXTRACTED: REPORT

Milieudefensie and Groningen residents dump fracking earthquake rubble in front of the Ministry of Economic Affairs in The Hague, 26 Oct 2017. Photo: @milieudefensie / Twitter

Shell and Exxon wants the government to pay them billions of euros in compensation for the gas that will not be extracted from Groningen now that the government is g, NOS reports.

With the government’s plans to stop gas extraction in Groningen, between 50 and 120 billion euros of gas will remain un-mined, according to documents NOS got by appealing to the freedom of information act. The oil companies want compensation for that. Previously Minister Erik Wiebes of Economic Affairs and Climate said that the government “does not want a claim for damage over the gas remaining in the ground”, according to the broadcaster.  read more

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Shell takes its turn in the climate change spotlight

Photo: Michael Macor, Staff / The Chronicle

What did you know and when did you know it? Those are the questions increasingly directed at Big Oil as concerns about global warming, rising sea levels and climate change grow.

For a few years now, Exxon Mobil has faced a bombardment of allegations — which the Texas oil company denies — that it knew about climate change related to fossil fuels in the 1970s and buried the evidence. State investigations in New York and Massachusetts continue to focus on whether Exxon Mobil misled the public and the company’s investors. read more

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Shell’s Climate Push Fails to Cut Emissions

Royal Dutch Shell Plc is demonstrating how tough it is for a massive, 100-year-old oil company to become a friend to the climate.

Shell’s greenhouse-gas emissions rose last year to the highest since 2014, it said Monday. The increase shows the challenge facing Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden as his company grows to meet burgeoning energy demand while investors demand a clear path toward a low-carbon future. 

“As living standards rise, energy demand could double over the course of the century,” Van Beurden said in Shell’s sustainability report. “The world is going to have to make meeting this demand part of the approach to cutting emissions.”  read more

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New Document Suggests Shell Knew About Climate Change 30 Years Ago

An internal Shell report from 1988 has revealed the supermajor was aware of the effect of its business on climate. The report, uncovered by Dutch journalist Jelmer Mommers from the De Correspondent news platform, has been published in the Climate Files and might just make life that much more difficult for the Anglo-Dutch company.

The document is an in-depth study of what was at the time called global warming with references to an earlier study and suggestions that the company was interested in researching climate change at least since 1981. read more

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Environmental Group Vows To Sue Shell Over Climate Change

By Tsvetana Paraskova – Apr 04, 2018, 6:00 PM CDT

In the latest legal campaign against Big Oil, Friends of the Earth Netherlands vowed on Wednesday to take Shell to court if it doesn’t act on demands to align its corporate strategy with the global climate objectives.

“Shell is liable for its substantial contribution to climate change and for the associated social and environmental damages,” Friends of the Earth Netherlands, or Milieudefensie as it is known in Dutch, said in a letter sent to Shell’s chief executive Ben van Beurden today. read more

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The Sky’s The Limit In Shell’s New Climate Targets Scenario

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Oil’s Seven Sisters Enter a ‘Golden Age’, Goldman Sachs Says

The world’s largest oil companies have survived a life-changing crisis, and are now poised to reap the rewards, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said.

Big Oil is in a sweet spot with rising oil prices and low operating costs, leaving them with the biggest cash-flow growth in two decades and boosting earnings, Goldman said in a report Monday. That will increase their attraction for investors after years of elevated spending followed by crude’s slump sent their weighting in global equity indexes to a 50-year low, according to the bank.  read more

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U.S. judge to question Big Oil on climate change

David Levine: 21 MARCH 2018

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Five of the world’s biggest energy producers will be questioned by a federal judge on Wednesday about climate change science, part of a lawsuit that accuses the companies of misleading the public for years about their role in global warming.

The cities of San Francisco and Oakland, California sued Chevron Corp (CVX.N), Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N), ConocoPhillips (COP.N), Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSa.L), and BP PLC (BP.L) last year, seeking an abatement fund to help the cities address flooding they say is a result of climate change. read more

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Nigeria State Oil Company Hasn’t Explained Missing Billions

An agency tasked with cleaning up Nigeria’s murky oil industry says even though financial accountability has improved the state oil company still hasn’t explained billions of dollars of missing revenue.

While energy producers have cooperated and complied with requirements to publish payments, the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative has struggled with the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corp., Waziri Adio, executive secretary of the agency known as Neiti, said in a March 7 interview in Abuja, the capital. The state oil company hasn’t explained what it did with at least $22.7 billion earned from the sale of oil licenses and in dividends from its stake in Nigeria LNG Ltd. over a 15-year period, he said. read more

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Shell’s U.S. shale output plans prioritize oil over natgas

Ron Bousso. Ernest Scheyder: 8 March 2018

HOUSTON (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSa.L) is focused on increasing its U.S. shale operation’s oil production while slowing investment in lower-margin natural gas, an executive said on Thursday.

The Anglo-Dutch company aims to boost its overall shale production by 200,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) to 500,000 boe/d between 2017 and 2020, mostly in the United States with some production in Argentina.

Although the shale business has yet to generate a profit, it is expected to do so next year, Greg Guidry, who heads Shell’s shale operations, told Reuters on the sidelines of the CERAWeek energy conference in Houston.

Shell, like Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) and Chevron Corp (CVX.N), aims to make shale production a driver of growth in the next decade. But today most of its output is natural gas, where profit margins are lower.

As a result, around 85 percent of Shell’s shale budget for at least the next two years will go toward new oil resources, particularly in the Permian oilfield of West Texas and Canada’s Duvernay Basin, Guidry said. read more

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Shell mulls investment in new wave of LNG projects

Shell chief executive Ben van Beurden says the company is looking to finalize new investments, which may include the company’s LNG Canada project

Geoffrey MorganGEOFFREY MORGAN Published on: March 8, 2018 | Last Updated: March 8, 2018

HOUSTON – The head of Royal Dutch Shell Plc dropped a hint that it’s keen to invest in liquefied natural gas projects soon on Tuesday, a tantalizing prospect for Canadian gas producers desperate to access rapidly changing global energy markets.

Shell chief executive Ben van Beurden did not specifically mention the company’s LNG Canada project in Kitimat, British Columbia when he addressed a room of oil and gas executives on Wednesday, but indicated the company is looking to finalize new investments. read more

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At energy summit, climate pits U.S. against Europe

FILE PHOTO: Ben van Beurden, chief executive officer of Royal Dutch Shell, speaks during the 26th World Gas Conference in Paris, France, June 2, 2015. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo

Ron Bousso: 7 MARCH 2018

HOUSTON (Reuters) – The U.S. energy secretary blasted renewable fuels champions on Wednesday while the head of Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSa.L) urged the energy sector to focus on global efforts to cut carbon emissions, reflecting a yawning trans-Atlantic gap on climate issues.

Speaking at the CERAWeek conference in Houston, Shell CEO Ben van Beurden outlined an ambitious plan to reduce the Anglo-Dutch company’s carbon footprint and expand in renewables, and called on others to follow. read more

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Yedlin: East Coast LNG projects quietly moving forward

Local Input~ Aerial View of the Bear Head LNG Project Site, Nova Scotia, Canada. Photo: Courtesy of Liquefied Natural Gas Limited. 0211 biz gmo bearhead

DEBORAH YEDLIN, CALGARY HERALD: 24 FEB 2018

Lost in the hyper-focus on British Columbia and its persistent obstruction of energy infrastructure development is the East Coast, where two liquefied natural gas projects are quietly moving forward in Nova Scotia.

Both Bear Head LNG to be located on the north bank of the Strait of Canso and Pieridae Energy in Goldboro are at different phases of their progress, but unlike what’s going on in B.C. there is a marked absence of opposition. read more

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Gas producer NAM sees no need for further measures at Groningen field

Reuters Staff: 19 FEB 2018

AMSTERDAM, Feb 19 (Reuters) – Dutch gas company NAM on Monday said it sees no need for further measures at the Groningen field after a recent series of relatively small earthquakes in the region.

The Dutch gas sector regulator last week ordered a new review of production at the field in the north of the Netherlands, after three tremors with magnitudes of 1.7 to 2.2 between Feb. 8 and Feb. 11. 

After a 3.4 earthquake in January the Dutch government already said it would cut Groningen production by 44 percent as quickly as possible, while ordering the immediate shutdown of five production points in the earthquake-prone field. read more

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In the deepwater versus shale oil contest, Shell backs both

Ron Bousso, Dmitry Zhdannikov: FEBRUARY 20,2018 LONDON (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) will expand deepwater output and turn a profit from its shale production in coming years as both together will help the oil major cope with a world of low crude prices, the head of its oil and gas production said on Tuesday.

Shell’s deepwater production in Brazil, Nigeria, the Gulf of Mexico is much bigger and more profitable, but the firm sees the nimble, fast-returns U.S. onshore shale as an engine for growth.

“We can see strong (shale) production growth, strong cash surpluses that gives us a balance in our portfolio where you can ramp investment up and down, you can moderate that, very unlike deepwater which is quite chunky,” Andy Brown told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of the IP Week conference. read more

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New York City Inspires Paris to Take on Big Oil Companies

By

A little more than a month after Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that New York City will take the fossil fuel industry to court, Paris says it is following suit.

In early January, de Blasio announced that the city filed a lawsuit against five of the United States’ biggest oil companies—BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell—on the grounds that they have contributed to global warming. The city will also divest from fossil fuel companies over a five-year period.

On Feb. 6, 350.org—which has been working on a divestment campaign for the last four years—announced that Paris was looking into the possibility of suing the fossil fuel industry as well.

The City Council passed a motion to study the possibility of taking legal action against oil companies to cover expenses associated with protecting Paris from the impacts of climate change.

The Council plans to lobby other major cities like London to ban fossil fuels from their investments through the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, whose president is Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo. read more

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Argentina Is On The Cusp Of A Shale Boom

…oil majors such as Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil are rushing to scoop up the best acreage…

By Matthew Smith – Feb 15, 2018, 5:00 PM CST

The end of the Peronist hold on Argentine politics and rise of pro-business president Mauricio Macri has heralded in a new age for what was long regarded as one of the most economically unstable nations in Latin America.

The former Buenos Aires mayor and businessman won the presidency in 2015, ousting his mercurial populist Peronist predecessor Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. Since coming to power, Macri has worked to restructure a shattered economy ruined by decades of market warping tariffs and subsidies, protectionism, heavy handed regulation, rampant inflation and unsustainable fiscal policies. read more

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Hail shale, but deepwater oil fights back

Ron Bousso: 14 FEB 2018

LONDON (Reuters) – Penguins, Royal Dutch Shell’s (RDSa.L) latest oil and gas development in a remote corner of the British North Sea, epitomizes the new doctrine for deepwater projects — keep it cheap and simple.

Shunned during the oil price crash of 2014-2016, deepwater projects are being embraced again, a challenge to the surge in onshore U.S. shale output.

Penguins, the first new major deepwater project this year, will rejuvenate the 44-year-old field by drilling 8 new wells 165 meters (541 feet) underwater and connecting them to a new production vessel. read more

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Big Oil takes stage for post-austerity beauty contest

Ron Bousso: 12 FEB 2018

LONDON (Reuters) – With years of austerity in their rear-view mirrors, the world’s biggest oil companies are locked in a beauty contest to lure investors with promises of growth and greater rewards.

Royal Dutch Shell and Total are emerging as frontrunners after a three-year slump thanks to strong growth projections but Exxon Mobil, the biggest publicly traded oil company, has largely disappointed with a weaker outlook.

Major oil companies slashed spending and cut costs after oil prices collapsed in 2014 and can now generate as much cash with crude at $50-$55 a barrel as they did when the price was around $100 earlier in the decade. read more

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Ads will attack de Blasio’s lawsuits against oil companies

De Blasio announced last month that the city had filed a lawsuit against BP, Chevron, Conoco-Phillips, ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell, claiming their fossil fuels produce 11 percent of the Earth’s global-warming gases.

The suit “seeks to shift the costs of protecting the city from climate-change impacts back onto the companies that have done nearly all they could to create this existential threat.”

City Hall spokesman Eric Phillips slammed the new campaign. read more

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Shell Commits to Expanding Gas Stations as Some Rivals Retreat

Istvan Kapitany, head of Shell’s global retail business

By Kevin Orland: 9 February 2018

(Bloomberg) — While many oil producers are stepping back from their retail operations, Royal Dutch Shell Plc is doubling down.

Shell, which has about 44,000 filling stations around the world, opened its first one in Mexico last year, the start of $1 billion in investments over the next decade. Shell also is ramping up spending in China, India, Indonesia and Russia, Istvan Kapitany, head of Shell’s global retail business, said in an interview in Calgary. read more

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Don’t believe in climate change? Energy companies do

The leaders of the world’s largest and most powerful energy companies are talking about the fight to mitigate human-caused climate change.

Some are even putting their money where their mouths are.

While some conservative political leaders still deny that the Earth is heating up due to humans burning fossil fuels and releasing greenhouse gases, the people who produce those fuels and chemicals have recognized the imperative to limit global warming to a rise of 2 degrees Celsius. read more

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Shell poised to dethrone Exxon in oil titans’ cash clash

Ron Bousso: 1 FEB 2018 LONDON (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell could usurp its largest rival Exxon Mobil as the energy sector’s biggest cash generator after higher oil and gas prices combined with an improved performance lifted its 2017 revenue.Chief Executive Ben van Beurden has made no secret of his desire to challenge the dominance of the world’s largest listed oil company after its $54 billion purchase of BG Group in 2016 catapulted Shell into second place in terms of production.

The Anglo-Dutch company on Thursday reported a more than doubling of profit in 2017 to $16 billion, the highest since the start of the 2014 downturn as the effect of years of costs cuts and the integration of BG Group filtered through.

“We enter 2018 with continued discipline and confidence, committed to the delivery of strong returns and cash,” van Beurden said in a statement.

Shell’s shares were 1.1 percent lower at 0842 GMT, compared with a slightly positive open for the FTSE 100 index. read more

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Shell Makes as Much Money at $60 a Barrel as When It Was $100

The oil-price rally worked both ways for Royal Dutch Shell Plc as improved exploration and production lifted profit to a three-year high while refining and trading fell short of expectations as margins shrank.

Crude’s surge raised adjusted profit at Europe’s largest energy company to $4.3 billion last quarter, the highest since 2014. While the bottom line was better than expected — and Shell is making as much money with oil at $60 a barrel as when it was $100 — cash flow was the weakest since 2016. read more

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GAS FIRM TO WITHHOLD SHELL, EXXON PROFITS; PROMISES CASH TO EARTHQUAKE-PRONE REGION

By Janene Pieters on January 31, 2018 – 13:40

Dutch gas firm NAM will for the time being not pay profits to its two shareholders – Shell and ExxonMobil, Shell announced in a press release. NAM has 18 billion euros available to compensate for damaged caused by gas extraction related earthquakes in Groningen for the next five years, the Dutch gas firm also announced in a press release.

These two press releases were an attempt to calm unrest caused by the revelation that Shell withdrew its so-called 403 declaration from NAM last year, as Trouw reported on Saturday. This 403 declaration held Shell liable for NAM’s debts. The withdrawal of this declaration, which happened in June last year, raised concerns that Shell is trying to escape its liability for damages caused by fracking earthquakes in Groningen. read more

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Shell made mistake by pulling out of Guyana basin

BY BERT WILKINSON: 31 JAN 2018

Now that Guyana’s oil and gas basin has been deemed as one of the hottest and most exciting prospects in the world, Shell Oil has to be regretting its decision to withdraw as an investment partner with United States giant ExxonMobil, which has so far drilled six successful wells offshore Guyana worth about 3.2 billion barrels of oil, officials said Monday, Jan. 29.

Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman said Exxon’s mid 2015 “world class” oil and gas find has clearly taken away all the fears and apprehensions about wasting investor dollars exploring offshore Guyana and Shell is one company which has missed out on the chance to cash in on one of the world’s largest oil finds in more than a decade. Exxon plans to begin producing about 120,000 barrels of oil daily in early 2020. This will make Guyana the largest producer in the Caribbean Community. The others are Trinidad, Suriname and Barbados. read more

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Oil Boom Gives the U.S. a New Edge in Energy and Diplomacy

A pump jack in a Permian Basin oil field in West Texas. The area has been a focus of the shale drilling boom. Credit Spencer Platt/Getty Images North America

HOUSTON — A substantial rise in oil prices in recent months has led to a resurgence in American oil production, enabling the country to challenge the dominance of Saudi Arabia and dampen price pressures at the pump.

The success has come in the face of efforts by Saudi Arabia and its oil allies to undercut the shale drilling spree in the United States. Those strategies backfired and ultimately ended up benefiting the oil industry.

Overcoming three years of slumping prices proved the resiliency of the shale boom. Energy companies and their financial backers were able to weather market turmoil — and the maneuvers of the global oil cartel — by adjusting exploration and extraction techniques. read more

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Shell buying spree cranks up race for clean energy

 

People take pictures of a high-efficiency petrol-burning concept car as it is unveiled by Royal Dutch Shell during a ceremony in Beijing, China April 22, 2016. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

Ron Bousso, Clara Denina: JANUARY 26, 2018

LONDON (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) has spent over $400 million on a range of acquisitions in recent weeks, from solar power to electric car charging points, cranking up its drive to expand beyond its oil and gas business and reduce its carbon footprint.

The scale of the buying spree pales in comparison to the Anglo-Dutch company’s $25 billion annual spending budget. But its first forays into the solar and retail power sectors for many years shows a growing urgency to develop cleaner energy businesses. read more

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Shell Is Closing In on Exxon’s Crown

Even in the dynamic world of business, some things always hold true: the Big Mac outsells the Whopper, Google gets more searches than Bing, and Exxon Mobil Corp. is the world’s biggest public oil company. Or perhaps not.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc is the closest it’s ever been to attaining the long-coveted prize of overtaking its American rival. While the Anglo-Dutch oil major still has some work left to snatch Exxon’s crown, Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden has made getting to the top his restless mission.

“At the moment we are number two and we are closing in on number one,” he said this month. “We almost have the tiger by the tail.”

That van Beurden thinks his goal is even in sight shows the risk he took in doing the industry’s biggest deal in decades is starting to pay off. Meanwhile, the strategy charted by Exxon’s former CEO Rex Tillerson has left the American major slightly adrift, according to investors.

“Ben doesn’t just talk the talk, he walks the walk now,” Richard Hulf, co-manager in Artemis Global Energy Fund, part of a London investment management group that owns both Exxon and Shell shares. “Shell’s got a bit better and Exxon is at a weak point in its cycle.”

The narrowing gap is likely to show through when both companies post earnings next week. Analysts estimate Shell will report $16 billion of profit in 2017 helped by the acquisition of BG Group Plc. Exxon is forecast to report $15.7 billion of earnings, dropping behind its European rival for the first time in at least two decades. Shell is also likely to have churned out more cash from operations than Exxon last year.

It’s the $53 billion BG deal that’s really made a difference. When oil’s crash started in the middle of 2014, just months into Van Beurden’s tenure as Shell’s boss, he saw an opportunity. BG’s oil projects in Brazil and gas in Australia were just starting up, easing uncertainty on future growth. Rumored for years to be a suitor, van Beurden finally made the move for the British company.

The deal immediately put Shell in an exclusive club with Exxon, placing it on a plane above its European rivals Total SA and BP Plc. Some use the phrase ultra-major to differentiate the industry’s big two from the pack – at least until Saudi Aramco’s giant IPO, slated for the end of this year.

It wasn’t all plain sailing. As oil prices continued to slide in 2014, many analysts thought the price tag was excessive, forcing Shell to borrow too much. Van Beurden was staking his reputation on the deal and he pressed on, seeking to create what he often calls a “world-class investment case.” The company was forced to cut costs, sell assets and rein in spending to keep borrowing under control.

Still, in the two years since the BG deal closed, Shell’s B shares in London, the most widely traded, have returned more than five times Exxon’s, reversing the performance of the previous two years and providing superior returns for shareholders.

“Strategically BG was the right deal,” said Iain Pyle, the investment director for U.K. equities at the investment unit of Standard Life Aberdeen Plc, among the largest Shell shareholders. “The only question about it at the time was the price they paid and the stress they put on the balance sheet to do the deal.”

In the start of 2015, before Shell announced the BG deal, Exxon’s market value was about $180 billion more than Shell’s and it had just reported an annual profit $10 billion higher.

Since then, Exxon has struggled to keep the business growing. Exxon’s production in the third quarter was 1.8 percent lower than a year ago while Shell’s rose 1.7 percent. The American company’s oil and gas reserves have also dropped (though this may change this year as it books reserves from a  giant discovery  off the coast of Guyana in South America.) The gap in the two companies’ market value has more than halved to about $73 billion.

Shell’s record takeover fueled speculation Exxon would snap up a big rival to maintain its world-leader status, but it’s recent deal history hasn’t been a resounding success.

The $35-billion purchase of American shale gas company XTO in 2010 came shortly before gas prices plummeted. It also struck a deal with Rosneft PJSC to explore and develop giant offshore fields in Russia in 2011, right before they became locked behind a wall of U.S. sanctions. These left its “upstream portfolio disadvantaged,” Credit Suisse said. read more

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Big Oil flush with cash again, but no party yet

Ron Bousso: 24 JAN 2018

LONDON (Reuters) – The world’s top oil companies are expected to generate more cash in 2018 than at any other time this decade after three painful years of cuts, but it isn’t party time yet.

The shift in sentiment has been rapid as crude prices have risen by more than 50 percent over the past six months to reach $70 a barrel, a level not seen since the crash year of 2014, thanks to global supply cuts led by OPEC.

Only a year ago, many investors still fretted over the sustainability of the sector’s lavish dividend payouts in a weak energy market. Now the focus on company boards is gradually switching from slashing jobs and investment to boosting shareholders’ returns and growth. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

Big Oil Plans Tenfold Expansion of Cost-Cut Collaboration

The world’s largest energy companies plan to significantly widen a two-year effort to standardize the kit they use to pump oil and gas, hoping they can deliver significant cost savings, said people familiar with the matter.

The discussions, scheduled on Wednesday for a closed-door meeting at the World Economic Forum in Davos, are the latest sign companies are seeking to tighten their belts permanently even as oil prices recover. Bespoke equipment designed on a project-by-project basis was common during the decade-long boom in crude prices, but looks less affordable after the industry’s worst downturn in a generation. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

Gas field earthquakes put Netherlands’ biggest firms on extraction notice

Extraction from the Groningen field, one of Europe’s richest sources of gas, is operated in a joint venture between Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil, but has been capped in recent years by ministers due to seismic activity in the area. Following a quake two weeks ago which registered at 3.4 on the Richter scale – the second-strongest recorded above the gas fields and the biggest in five years – the country’s minister for economic affairs, Eric Wiebes, put major corporations on notice this week. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

Nigeria Moves Closer to Energy Overhaul With New Oil Bill

Nigeria’s House of Representatives passed a bill governing the country’s energy sector after the Senate did so in May, taking Africa’s top oil producer one step closer to a much-awaited overhaul of the key industry.

The Petroleum Industry Governance Bill now awaits President Muhammadu Buhari’s signing to become law.

The bill will “promote openness and transparency in the industry by clarifying the rules, processes, and procedures that govern the oil and gas sector,” Senate President Bukola Saraki said in a statement Thursday. “After nearly two decades of back-and-forth, near-misses and ‘near-passages’, the 8th National Assembly finally reached a milestone.” read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

CAN BIG OIL BE SUED FOR CAUSING GLOBAL WARMING?

BY

New York City and a number of California municipalities, including San Francisco and Oakland, have filed lawsuits against five major oil companies—BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil, and Royal Dutch Shell—for contributing to the increased risk of global warming.

These complaints cite recent scientific reports that project that sea levels will rise from 0.2 meters to 2.0 meters (or 0.66 to 6.6 feet) by 2100, with a major loss of land surface area and serious climate disruptions. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

Shell and BP to Buy Libyan Oil as Country Recovers

Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BP Plc agreed annual deals to buy Libyan crude, underscoring how the North African country’s recovering production and improving security are enticing some of the world’s largest oil companies.

Shell’s deal with Libya’s National Oil Corp. was the first of its kind since 2013 and Europe’s biggest oil company will load its first cargo under the contract within days, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because they’re not authorized to talk to the media. BP, which didn’t have a term deal in 2017, also reached an agreement for this year, the people said. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

Shell Takes a Last Exit From Mideast Oil — WSJ

By Sarah Kent and Benoit Faucon

LONDON — Royal Dutch Shell PLC is giving up on its last oil fields in Iraq, leaving the world’s second-biggest oil company with a dwindling footprint in the Middle East — a region it helped build into a petroleum powerhouse.

Shell said Monday it is selling for an undisclosed amount a stake in the West Qurna 1 oil field in Iraq to Japan’s Itochu Corp., the latest step in a gradual retreat from the region. The company is also expected to give up its holding in Iraq’s Majnoon oil field later this year, though it will retain its natural-gas interests in the country. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

Shell commissions new oil-production vessel in UK North Sea field

Royal Dutch Shell plans to build its first major oil-production vessel in the northern U.K. North Sea in almost three decades, in an effort to redevelop the Penguins oil and gas field, the company said Monday.

Shell believes the floating production, storage and offloading vessel will pump 45,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day from the Penguins field at its peak, and that it could break even on its investment even if oil prices slide below $40 a barrel. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

Shell agrees to sell its stake in Iraq’s West Qurna 1 oilfield to Japan’s Itochu

REUTERS STAFF: JANUARY 15, 2018 / 2:19 PM /

DUBAI (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell has agreed to sell its stake in Iraq’s West Qurna 1 oilfield to Japan’s Itochu, a Shell spokesman said on Monday.

“Itochu and Shell have reached agreement on the sale of Shell’s interest in the West Qurna 1 oilfield and are now working to secure all the necessary approvals from the government of Iraq,” the spokesman said. “Details of the discussions are commercially confidential.”

Iraq has approved the sale by Shell of its 20 percent stake in the West Qurna 1 oilfield to Itochu, a senior Iraqi oil official told Reuters last week. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

New York City sues Shell, ExxonMobil, and other oil majors over climate change

Each of the first six months of 2016 set a record as the warmest respective month globally. Credit: NASA/GISS
January 10 2018

The New York City government is suing the world’s five largest publicly traded oil companies, seeking to hold them responsible for present and future damages to the city from climate change.

The suit, filed Tuesday against BP, Chevron, Conoco-Phillips, ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell, claims the companies together produced 11 percent of all of global warming gases through the oil and gas products they have sold over the years. It also charges that the companies and the industry of which they are part have known for some time about the consequences but sought to obscure them. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

New York City sues 5 major oil companies, claiming they contributed to global warming

The ExxonMobil refinery seen at dusk in St. Bernard Parish, La.

(Gerald Herbert / AP)

Associated Press

New York City is suing five major oil companies, claiming they have contributed to global warming.

Mayor Bill de Blasio says the city will be seeking billions in the lawsuit to recoup money spent by the city for resiliency efforts related to climate change.

The defendants in the city’s federal lawsuit are BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell.

A BP spokesman declined comment. A Shell spokesman said climate change is a complex issue that should not be addressed by the courts. The other three did not immediately comment. read more

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Big Oil Finds Hurdles Buried in Trump’s ‘America-First’ Tax Plan

For Big Oil, the U.S. tax overhaul is turning out to be a mixed bag, especially for companies that drill overseas.

Two weeks after President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans passed a sweeping rewrite of the tax code that cuts corporate rates, drillers are finding other changes that are less of a boon. BP Plc and Royal Dutch Shell Plc offered a preview recently, saying they may write off as much as $4 billion in tax assets as a result.

Caps on debt-interest payments and cuts to deductions from previous years’ losses may hurt companies building capital-intensive projects with borrowed money. And other provisions, including time limits on expensing exploration, could hem in drillers with long-term projects, including Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. That may also give an edge to domestic shale production. read more

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U.S. offers drillers nearly all offshore waters, but focus is on eastern Gulf

Ernest Sheyder and Valerie Volcovici

HOUSTON/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump’s administration has proposed opening up nearly all of America’s offshore waters to oil and gas drilling, but the industry says it is mainly interested in one part of it, now cordoned off by the Pentagon: the eastern Gulf of Mexico.

The industry’s focus on an area located near a sprawling network of existing platforms, pipes and ports could ease the path to new reserves, and assuage the drilling opponents near other places offered under the Interior Department’s proposed drilling plan issued last week, like California’s Pacific, the Atlantic and Arctic. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

Dutch Court Upholds $5.2 Billion Asset Freeze On Kazakhstan Oil Field

Frozen Assets Securing a $520 Million Award Against Republic of Kazakhstan 

NEW YORK, Jan. 8, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — On January 5, 2018, Amsterdam District Court issued a judgment (the “Judgment”) in which it upheld an earlier ex parte attachment granted by the same court on September 8, 2017 to Anatolie Stati, Gabriel Stati, Ascom Group S.A. and Terra Raf Trans Traiding Ltd (together, the “Stati Parties”) with respect to the Republic of Kazakhstan’sshareholding in the Dutch entity KMG Kashagan B.V. (“Kashagan”) which shareholding is held via the Kazakh sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna (“Samruk”).  Through its stake in Kashagan, which has a nominal value of approximately US$5.2 billion, the Kazakh State participates in the international consortium relating to the Kashagan oilfield, one of the largest offshore oilfields in the Caspian Sea. Other members of the consortium include Eni, Royal Dutch Shell, Total, ExxonMobil, China National Petroleum Corporation and Inpex. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

Quest for new oil discoveries still on back burner

Ron Bousso: January 4, 2018

LONDON (Reuters) – Despite the strongest start for oil prices in four years, the world’s top oil companies are hesitating to accelerate the search for new resources as a determination to retain capital discipline trumps the hope of making bonanza discoveries.

Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, Total and their peers are set to cut spending on oil and gas exploration for a fifth year in a row in 2018, according to consultancy Wood Mackenzie (WoodMac), despite a growing urgency to replenish reserves after years of reining back investment. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

All That New Shale Oil May Not Be Enough as Big Discoveries Drop

Three years after causing an oil-price crash, the shale boom may not be enough to meet rising global demand because the industry has cut back so sharply on higher-risk mega-projects.

Discoveries of new reserves this year were the fewest on record and replaced just 11 percent of what was produced, according to a Dec. 21 report by consultant Rystad Energy. While shale wells are creating a glut now, without more investment in bigger, conventional supply, the world may see output deficits as soon as 2019, according to Canadian producer Suncor Energy Inc. read more

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Insidious Gas Leaks Are Casting Doubts Over Shell’s Clean Credentials

Methane seepage may make natural gas more polluting than coal

Gas focus, expansion of shale reinforce need for reliable data

After spending $50 billion on the world’s biggest bet on natural gas, Royal Dutch Shell Plc is at the forefront of Big Oil’s efforts to clean up its act. But what if the constant, insidious leaks of gas into the atmosphere actually make the fuel more polluting than coal? 

Methane, the main component in natural gas, can seep into the air at various points between extraction and delivery. Trapping more heat than carbon dioxide, it’s a potent contributor to global warming. Yet credible data on the volumes released is scarce, and that’s spurring pressure from investors.

“This is such an important issue,” said Tim Goodman, a director at asset manager Hermes EOS who has urged oil companies to address climate matters in their quarterly updates. “The less methane is lost to the environment, the less dirty methane and natural gas is, and the longer gas might be a viable fuel.” read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan
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