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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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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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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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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

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‘Shell is considering bidding for Dutch green energy group Eneco’

Anglo-Dutch oil and gas group Shell is making preparations to bid for green energy firm Eneco whose owners, made up of 53 local councils, are divided about its future, the Telegraaf said on Friday.

At the same time, a dispute between the local authority shareholders and the company’s board is threatening to slow down the sale process, the paper said.

Shell has hired an unnamed US-based merchant bank to help it in a possible bid for Eneco, sources within the banking industry told the paper.  But Shell itself reacted with a short and powerful ‘no comment’, the Telegraaf said. read more

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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

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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

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Norway Faces Up to Big Oil’s Snub

Norway is realizing it will have to do without the deep pockets of the biggest oil companies as it seeks to extend an era that has made it one of the world’s richest countries.

The most recent blow came when only 11 companies applied for new blocks in the Arctic Barents Sea, touted as the country’s most promising area for exploration. Chevron Corp. and ConocoPhillips were absent after bidding the last time, while Exxon Mobil Corp. and Total SA remained out of the race. Of the five super-majors, only Royal Dutch Shell Plc applied. 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

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Oil stable on tighter market, but rising US output looms for 2018

BY HENNING GLOYSTEIN: DECEMBER 15, 2017

* OPEC-led supply cuts, Forties pipeline outage support crude

* But rising U.S. output, driven by shale, weighs on market

SINGAPORE, Dec 15 (Reuters) – Oil markets were stable on Friday as the Forties pipeline outage in the North Sea and the ongoing OPEC-led production cuts supported prices, while rising output from the United States kept crude from rising further.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $57.13 a barrel at 0119 GMT, up 9 cents from their last settlement. read more

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Norway parties inclined to back fund’s plan to slash oil exposure -report

REUTERS STAFF: DECEMBER 12, 2017

OSLO, Dec 12 (Reuters) – Norway’s $1 trillion sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, will probably win backing from parliament for its proposal to cut most oil and gas stocks from its portfolio, business daily Dagens Naeringsliv reported on Tuesday.

If adopted by parliament, the fund would over time divest billions of dollars from oil and gas stocks, which now represent 6 percent – or around $37 billion – of its benchmark equity index. read more

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UK trade minister lobbied Brazil on behalf of oil giants

A telegram obtained by Greenpeace shows that Greg Hands met a Brazilian minister to discuss relaxation of tax and environmental regulation. Greenpeace accused the department of acting as a “lobbying arm of the fossil fuel industry”. read more

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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

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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

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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

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

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

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Shell to begin drilling in Brazil’s Gato do Mato block in 2019

Alexandra Alper: NOVEMBER 13, 2017 RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s Brazil chief said on Monday that the oil major plans to begin drilling in 2019 in an offshore block in the coveted pre-salt layer that it won in an auction last month with France’s Total. “We already drilled in the area. We know how to do it. We have the experience. So it is just about putting in place everything that we already have in order to not waste time,” Andre Araujo, Shell’s Brazil unit head, told reporters on the sidelines of an event in Rio de Janeiro.

The block, South Gato do Mato, is adjacent to a prospect that Shell and Total are already exploring jointly. Shell is operator in both areas with an 80 percent stake.

Araujo said it was too soon to forecast when the first oil might be produced there, but reiterated that the company is committed to investing an average of $2 billion a year in Latin America’s top economy through 2020.

Shell won half the blocks awarded in Brazil’s deepwater auction in October in a historic opening of the pre-salt play to foreign operators. Billions of barrels of oil are trapped below thousands of feet of salt in the country’s Atlantic waters. read more

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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

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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

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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

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Shell completes $4.4 billion in sales a day before earnings report

Dutch supermajor trying to dump $30 billion in assets in order to shape the company “into a world class investment.”

By Daniel J. Graeber  |  Nov. 1, 2017 at 6:17 AM

Nov. 1 (UPI) — Royal Dutch Shell said Wednesday it made further progress in a major divestment plan by completing the sale of assets in Gabon and in the North Sea.

For $628 million, Shell said it completed the sale of its entire Gabonese oil and gas interests to a company controlled by The Carlyle Group. The transaction includes the sale of all of Shell’s onshore oil and gas interests, which includes nine total fields, and the associated infrastructure, including pipelines and export terminals. read more

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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

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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

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Iraq may offer Total, Chevron terms different from Shell for Majnoon field development

OCTOBER 21, 2017

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraq may offer Chevron (CVX.N) and Total (TOTF.PA) terms to develop the Majnoon oilfield different from those it had given to Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L), Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar al-Luaibi said on Saturday.

Iraq will develop the Majnoon oil field in southern Iraqi by its own means until it can find a foreign partner, Luaibi told reporters, adding that no company has been selected yet.

Luaibi said on Oct. 9 that Chevron and Total are among the companies that have expressed interest in developing Majnoon that Shell has said it wants to leave because of unfavourable changes to fiscal terms. read more

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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

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Statoil, Shell and Total to store CO2 offshore Norway

Representatives from Shell, Statoil and Total have teamed up to steer a project that will store carbon dioxide captured from industrial operations in Norway offshore. Photo courtesy of Ole Jørgen Bratland/Statoil

Oct. 2 (UPI) — Norwegian energy company Statoil said Monday it was leading a partnership aimed at advancing Paris climate efforts through carbon capture and storage.

Statoil said it would lead a project alongside the Norwegian subsidiaries of Royal Dutch Shell and French supermajor Total in storing carbon dioxide captured from industrial facilities in eastern Norway at an offshore site. read more

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

Top BP Executive Warns OPEC Needs to Prolong Oil Output Curbs

OPEC and its allies need to extend their crude production cuts beyond March 2018 to rebalance the global oil market, a top executive at BP Plc’s trading arm said.

“Rebalancing is already on the way,” Janet Kong, Eastern Hemisphere Chief Executive Officer of integrated supply and trading at BP, said in an interview in Singapore. But OPEC needs “definitely to cut beyond the first quarter” to bring inventories down and back to historically normal levels, she said.

The view from BP follows a gathering in Vienna by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its partners that concluded with no decision on an extension or deepening of supply cuts. Oil has struggled to hold above $50 a barrel in 2017 as investors weighed signs of a whittling worldwide crude glut against concerns the U.S. will boost oil production. read more

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

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

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

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

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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

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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

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

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

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Shell finds $1bn buyer for Argentine gas stations, report says

Shell has found a buyer for a chain of Argentine gas stations worth more than $1billion, a news report said.

Shell put the 630 Argentine gas stations up for sale as part of a £23.5billion divestment plan intended to balance the books in the wake of its takeover of BG Group.

Brazil’s Raizen Energia, a subsidiary of Shell, has outbid rivals including Argentina’s YPF, Chile’s Quinenco and China’s CNPC, Reuters reported, citing unidentified sources.

Shell and Cosan each own 50% of Raizen, which controls Brazil’s second largest chain of gas stations.

Shell said it would not comment on potential deals. Raízen also declined to comment. read more

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Shell fires-up production in Nigeria

Shell today confirmed it had kick-started production at Gbaran-Ubie Phase 2 in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region.

Written by

Today’s announcement is a positive step for Shell’s global gas portfolio,” said Andy Brown, Shell’s upstream director.

“It is also good news for Nigeria as gas from Gbaran-Ubie Phase 2 will strengthen supply to the domestic market and maintain supply to the export market.”

Phase 2 follows the success of the first phase of the Gbaran-Ubie integrated oil and gas development, which was commissioned in June 2010. Peak production of around 175,000 barrels of oil equivalent (boe) per day is expected in 2019. read more

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Shell says starts gas production at expanded Nigeria project

AUGUST 23, 2017

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Anglo-Dutch oil major Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) has started gas production from the second phase of the Gbaran-Ubie project in Nigeria’s Niger Delta, the company said on Wednesday.

The project is an expansion of the Gbaran-Ubie development, which opened in June 2010.

Shell, through its Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria subsidiary, said the project would reach peak production of around 175,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2019. read more

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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

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Can Western oil giants break the Gulf impasse?

HIROFUMI MATSUO, Nikkei senior staff writer

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

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

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

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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

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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

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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

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Kazakhstan: US sanctions will not affect oil projects

Kazakhstan: US sanctions will not affect oil projects

by: : 8 Aug 2017

New US sanctions against Russia will not affect multi-billion dollar oil projects in Kazakhstan backed by Chevron, ExxonMobil and other western energy majors, the country’s economy minister has said. Italy’s Eni, France’s Total, Exxon and Royal Dutch Shell all hold stakes in Kashagan, another Kazakh oil field. The decision to expand sanctions… was taken to primarily target Gazprom’s under-construction Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Germany… partially funded by… Shell… FULL FT ARTICLE read more

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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

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Shell Braces For ‘Lower Forever’ Oil As Profits Soar

Shell Braces For ‘Lower Forever’ Oil As Profits Soar

by  Reuters: Ron Bousso & Karolin Schaps: Thursday, July 27, 2017

LONDON, July 27 (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell is gearing up for a world of “lower forever” oil prices, its Chief Executive Ben van Beurden said on Thursday, after the company’s profits tripled in the second quarter.

The oil and gas industry has struggled with three years of weak prices while also facing the prospect of oil demand plateauing by the end of the next decade.

But Europe’s largest energy company was able to boost its profits more than expected, increase cash flow to $12.2 billion and reduce debt thanks to asset sales and as big savings introduced since the oil price collapse kicked in. read more

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Europe’s Oil Giants Recover From Three-Year Slump

LONDON/PARIS — Europe’s major oil and gas companies have turned a corner after a three-year slump, reporting strong growth in profits as cost cutting paid off and vowing to press on with saving more money amid a fragile recovery in oil prices.

Royal Dutch Shell, France’s Total and Norway’s Statoil reported sharp increases in cash flow from operations in the second quarter as profits beat analyst expectations, meaning they can all comfortably pay dividends and reduce debt. read more

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Shell Profits Triple on Stronger Refining, Oil Prices

Shell CEO Ben van Beurden

LONDON — Royal Dutch Shell more than tripled its profits in the second quarter to beat forecasts boosted by strong refining operations and a rise in oil prices.

The Anglo-Dutch oil and gas company also reported a huge recovery in cash flow to $12.2 billion and a drop in debt as its cost reduction efforts in recent years paid off. It has sold some $25 billion of assets since acquiring BG Group last year.

The strong results came despite a dip in oil and gas production versus the previous quarter as a result of reduced output from a facility in Qatar. read more

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Shell willing to sell Iranian jet fuel in Persian Gulf

Royal Dutch Shell is interested in selling Iran’s jet fuel in international markets, the National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Company (NIOPDC) has said.

The company has held negotiations with Iranian officials, NIOPDC Managing Director Mansour Riahi said, adding if the talks yield positive results, Shell will be able to supply fuel not only at the Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKIA) but also in other areas.

“Shell is willing to ship fuel from Iran and sell it at airports in the Persian Gulf littoral states and neighboring countries,” he said. read more

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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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Nigeria Oil Thieves Keep a Lid on Output Even as Bombs Abate

The Agbada oil flow station, operated by Shell in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Photographer: George Osodi/Bloomberg

On top of that is the cost of clearing up the pollution from pipe ruptures. A 2011 UN study found that such an undertaking at Ogoni, just south of Port Harcourt, could exceed $1 billion and take 30 years.

By Paul Wallace: 20 July 2017, 05:15 BST

The Agbada 2 flow station should have been buzzing with activity, pumping crude to one of Nigeria’s largest export terminals. Instead it was idle in the muggy, mid-morning heat as Wilcox Emmanuel, the facility’s manager, shrugged in resignation about the thieves who’d shut him down.

As much as 30 percent of the oil sent by pipelines through the swampy Niger River delta is stolen, consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd. estimates. That’s depriving the country of income amid a crippling recession and compounding the pain of a global price slump for Africa’s largest producer. read more

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Iran Looks To Close More Deals But Oil Majors Are Cautious

By Gregory Brew – Jul 18, 2017, 9:30 AM CDT

Iran is on track to reach a major national milestone this year, if the nation’s oil spokesmen are to be believed. On Wednesday deputy oil minister Amir Hossein Zamaninia predicted oil production would reach 4 million bpd by the end of 2017, and certainly exceed that level by the end of the Iranian calendar year (March 2018).

Since international sanctions on its oil and gas industry were lifted in January 2016, Iran has managed to increase production to pre-sanctions levels, reaching 3.8 million in May 2017, the highest level in seven years. But 4 million bpd, long a national goal and symbolic of a full recovery, is now within reach. 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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