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Posts from ‘February, 2018’

Shell’s Negative Outlook On Oil Yields Positive Strategy For Company

: 28 FEB 2018

Summary

  • Shell’s long term vision of oil prices is rather negative, leading to moves to cut reliance on high-cost projects.
  • Natural gas on the other hand is seen as a growth industry for the longer term, which is why it invests in upstream, as well as downstream & LNG.
  • While I think Shell’s views on oil prices going forward is overly negative, I do think that prices will be volatile, so it is the right strategy.

Perhaps nothing highlights Shell’s (RDS.A) (NYSE:RDS.B) current leadership mindset more than its decision to sell its oil sands interests for net $7.25 billion last year. It is a mindset borne out of the belief at the top of this company’s leadership structure that there is a strong probability that oil prices will stay weak for perhaps decades to come, as demand destruction due to environmental concerns, as well as technological change will perhaps cause a peak in demand as soon as a decade from now. I personally do not share this view, yet as an investor in this company I am glad that it is making some of the structural changes that Shell is currently undertaking, because I do believe that it will transform it into one of the better energy companies out there. It will not only thrive during the good times, but it will also prove to be resilient during the bad. read more

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LNG market needs $200 billion investment to meet demand: Shell

Ron Bousso: 26 FEB 2018

LONDON (Reuters) – More than $200 billion of investment in liquefied natural gas is needed to meet a boom in demand by 2030, Royal Dutch Shell, the world’s top LNG trader, said on Monday.

The LNG market is set to continue its rapid expansion into 2020 as facilities approved for construction in the first half of the decade come on line, in a development expected easily to meet sharp growth in consumption of the super-chilled fuel.

But a decline in spending in the sector since 2014 as a result of weaker energy prices will create a supply gap from the mid-2020s unless new investments emerge, Shell said in its 2018 LNG Outlook. read more

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Shell warns of liquefied natural gas shortage as LNG demand blows past expectations

  • Royal Dutch Shell reports that the market in liquefied natural gas, or LNG, reached 293 million tons in 2017, 30 percent higher than expected.
  • Despite the growth, Shell warns that the market could face a shortage of LNG by the mid-2020s due to underinvestment in new projects.
  • The root of the problem is a mismatch between the types of contracts buyers and sellers prefer, which may delay investments in new LNG capacity, Shell says.
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Royal Dutch Shell says the world could be grappling with a shortage of liquefied natural gas within a decade due to underinvestment in new projects.

The Anglo-Dutch energy giant issued the warning in its second annual LNG outlook, which reports on developments in the booming market for natural gas cooled to liquid form for export. Shell says the market for LNG grew by 29 million tons last year, 30 percent more than previously expected.

Trading in LNG reached 293 million tons in 2017, up from just 100 million tons at the turn of the century. At nearly 300 million tons, suppliers shipped enough LNG last year to power about 575 million homes, by Shell’s count. read more

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Big Oil Buyers Ditch Paper for Blockchain to Track Tanker Sales

A consortium — including oil producers BP Plc, Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Statoil ASA — has been developing a blockchain-based platform for physical oil trades.

Every day, dozens of oil tankers — some as long as five football fields — set sail for ports around the world carrying millions of barrels of crude and a piece of paper that generations of sea captains have held as dear as their cargo.

The bill of lading is the document that verifies ownership of a commodity that can be worth more than $122 million per ship. Without it, buyers and sellers who trade $2.7 billion of crude daily are unable to do business in an ocean-going tanker market that supplies almost half of the oil consumed globally. 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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Shell To Shut Louisiana Refinery Gasoline Unit For Overhaul In June

By Tsvetana Paraskova – Feb 23, 2018, 6:00 PM CST

Royal Dutch Shell plans to shut for a planned overhaul the 92,000-bpd gasoline producing unit at its refinery at Convent, Louisiana, for some six weeks starting in June, Reuters reported on Friday, quoting sources familiar with the refinery’s plans.

The gasoline-producing fluid catalytic cracking unit (FCCU) at the 227,586-bpd Convent refinery, as well as the alkylation unit with 16,500 bpd capacity, are planned to be shut for an overhaul this summer, after Shell scrapped plans in November last year to permanently close the gasoline-producing unit at Convent. read more

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Kashagan output crosses 300,000 b/d, but ‘giant’ increases unlikely: Shell executive

London (Platts)–23 Feb 2018 510 am EST/1010 GMT

Kazakhstan’s giant Kashagan oil field is achieving new production highs every month and has done better than 300,000 b/d, but development beyond the current phase is likely to be about “discretionary step-ups” rather than giant steps, Shell country chair and vice president Olivier Lazare said Thursday.

Speaking at the IP Week conference in London, Lazare declined to specify the current production level, saying there were still reliability issues with the first phase, which started producing in 2016 after more than $50 billion of investment and multiple delays, and has a target of 370,000 b/d. read more

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Why The Next Oil Boom Will Be Fueled By Blockchain

By Meredith Taylor – Feb 21, 2018, 6:00 PM CST

Big Oil is due for a disruption.

The world’s most important industry has been carrying on without any significant changes in its day to day routine for far too long.

But now, the new tech on the block has its sights set on the multi-trillion-dollar oil and gas sector.

It’s official: Blockchain technology has infiltrated Big Oil.

The hype behind blockchain has reached a full-blown frenzy. And for good reason.

The technology, which creates secure ledgers for digital transactions and rapidly accelerates the pace at which transactions can be made, has the potential to disrupt every major industry: real estate, shipping, banking and healthcare. 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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Unilever HQ move would be motivated by more than Brexit

Unilever HQ move would be motivated by more than Brexit

The group is hardly the first to consider simplification. Royal Dutch Shell moved its HQ to The Hague in 2005, keeping its primary listing in Britain. Royal Dutch Shell kept its incorporation and main listing in the UK, reflecting the sense that it wanted to seize opportunities to issue equity and grow in a globalised market.

FULL FT ARTICLE

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Shell may buy majority stake in solar power firm Fourth Partner Energy

Shell is said to be looking to buy a ‘significant stake’ in Fourth Partner Energy, a rooftop solar power firm, and may even acquire it

Thu, Feb 22 2018. 05 00 AM IST

New Delhi: Royal Dutch Shell Plc, the world’s second-biggest publicly traded oil company, plans to acquire a majority stake in Hyderabad-based rooftop solar firm Fourth Partner Energy, two people aware of the development said.

Shell is looking to buy a “significant stake” in Fourth Partner Energy, said one of the two people cited above, requesting anonymity. The second person said Shell is looking to acquire a majority in the firm.

Shell’s interest in Fourth Partner Energy comes amid the central government’s ambitious plans to set up 175 gigawatt (GW) of clean energy capacity by 2022. Of this, 40GW is to come from rooftop solar projects. read more

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‘People and planet, not profit’ – Greenpeace activists demand Shell show up at climate change and human rights inquiry

by Greenpeace International: 21 February 2018 Batangas, Philippines, 21 February 2018 – Activists from Greenpeace Southeast Asia, Philippines unfurled a banner reading “PEOPLE AND PLANET, NOT PROFIT” from Shell’s Batangas oil refinery today, sending a sharp reminder to Shell to attend upcoming hearings into the responsibility of big fossil fuel companies for climate-related human rights harms.  The activists also delivered a letter to Shell demanding they own up to their responsibility for contributions to the climate crisis, and show up at the first hearing taking place in March. The hearings are part of a world-first investigation led by the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines into how climate-related human rights harms are fuelled by their business of extracting and marketing fossil fuels.

“Shell and other big fossil fuel companies continue to line their own pockets at the expense of people and the environment! People are suffering as a result – from more destructive typhoons, less fish due to warming oceans, and declining food production due to drought or heavier rainfall,” said Desiree Llanos Dee, Climate Justice Campaigner of Greenpeace Southeast Asia, Philippines.

“We have been trying to engage the big polluters to participate in the investigation and explain how they will change their business operations that continue to fuel climate change.  But they continue to ignore the plight of people and their families, choosing profit over people and the planet, which is why activists from Greenpeace Philippines climbed the jetty at Shell’s Batangas refinery, to amplify the people’s call.” read more

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Shell Chemical plant at Norco stirred controversy decades before Clean Air Act allegations

Shell’s Norco Refinery

When Iris Carter heard that the Shell Chemical plant near her childhood home in Norco had been ordered to spend $10 million on pollution control equipment to resolve decades of allegations that the plant was violating the federal Clean Air Act, she felt a variety of emotions.

She was frustrated, she said, and angry. But she wasn’t surprised. As Carter sees it, this should have happened more than 20 years ago, when she and her family first helped start a campaign to abandon an area she said had become too polluted to live in. read more

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Shell given EU approval for First Utility acquisition

The European Commission has given its approval for the Shell Petroleum Company (Shell) acquisition of First Utility.

In December, Shell released a statement that said it will buy 100 per cent of independent energy provider, First Utility. It said at the time that the deal was set to complete in early 2018, subject to “regulatory and other approvals”.

The EU Commission said in a statement: “The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of Impello Limited by the Shell Petroleum Company, both of the UK. Impello is an independent energy supplier to household customers in the UK and Germany, active under the brand First Utility.” read more

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Shell Shows Interest in BHP Assets

Royal Dutch Shell Plc said it’s potentially interested in BHP Billiton Ltd.’s oil assets on sale in the Permian basin in the U.S. as it seeks to boost its role in shale.

The Anglo-Dutch company entered the prolific oil region in 2012 and plans to expand its position and generate positive cash flow next year, Andy Brown, Shell’s upstream director, said in an interview on Tuesday. The Permian offers production costs as low as $15 a barrel and is the driving force behind the current surge in U.S. output. read more

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Shell gives $1 million to CCBC for process technology program

Shell gives $1 million to CCBC for process technology program

By  – Reporter, Pittsburgh Business Times  

Shell will give $1 million to the Community College of Beaver County to fortify CCBC’s process-technology program ahead of Shell’s ethane cracker being built a few miles away from campus. “Our partnership with the college has been developed and strengthened over the past several years and epitomizes the type of collaborative educational partnerships we strive to build in our communities,” said Shell Chemicals VP Hilary Mercer.

FULL ARTICLE

RELATED TRIB-LIVE ARTICLE

| Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, 11:09 a.m. 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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Shell names Jacek Dziembaj head of oil products trading -memo

Reuters Staff: FEBRUARY 19, 2018

* Royal Dutch Shell has appointed Jacek Dziembaj as head of oil products trading and supply, according to an internal announcement seen by Reuters.

* Dziembaj will be based in London and assume his new role from April 9.

* Dziembaj’s appointment follows the naming in December of Mark Quartermain as head of crude oil trading at the Anglo-Dutch company.

* Dziembaj has 26 years of experience in Shell, including working in the retail and lubricants businesses and most recently as vice president retail Europe/South Africa. read more

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Global dividends hit record of $1.25 trillion in 2017, more to come

Royal Dutch Shell kept its position as the world’s biggest dividend payer

Danilo Mason: FEBRUARY 19, 2018

MILAN (Reuters) – Global dividends rose 7.7 percent to an all-time high of $1.25 trillion (1 trillion euros) last year boosted by a buoyant world economy and rising corporate confidence, Janus Henderson (JHG.N) said on Monday, predicting another record year ahead.

The surge – the strongest since 2014 – was driven by increases in every region and almost every industry with record showings in 11 countries including the United States, Japan, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the Netherlands, the investment manager added. read more

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Shell’s electrifying prediction

Extracts from FT article by , Energy Editor, published Sunday 18 February 2018:

Oil majors see their chance in staid world of utilities

Maarten Wetselaar, head of Shell’s “new energy” strategy, predicts the proportion of worldwide energy consumption met by electricity would increase from less than 20 per cent today to about half in coming decades. Mr Wetselaar declines to comment on speculation that Shell’s next target could be the Dutch utility Eneco. But he says: “If we’re going to build a power business that is meaningful to Shell — a real fourth pillar alongside oil, gas and chemicals — we will need to do more of these deals.” 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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Eni’s strong performance has been clouded by allegations of bribery

Extract relating to OPL 245 Shell/ENI Malabu Oil Deal scandal taken from FT article: “Eni reports record oil and gas production”

Eni’s strong performance has been clouded by allegations of bribery related to a $1.3bn deal in 2011 to acquire one of Nigeria’s largest untapped oilfields. Mr Descalzi and several other current and former executives are due to stand trial for alleged corruption in Milan in March. Mr Descalzi has denied wrongdoing and Eni’s board has maintained its “full confidence” in him. 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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First hydrogen station opens in Esslingen, Germany

Norbert Barthle (Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Transport), Thomas Bystry (Project Manager Shell), Michael Reinhardt (Project Manager Air Liquide) and Sybille Riepe (H2 Mobility) at the opening in Wendlingen

By 15 February 2018

H2 Mobility Deutschland, Shell and Air Liquide today jointly opened the first hydrogen (H2) station in the district of Esslingen – the twelfth in Baden-Württemberg, taking another step towards a nationwide H2 supply network in Germany. read more

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Big Oil CEOs Urge Norway to Throw a Lifeline to Carbon Capture

Saetre, Pouyanne & van Beurden in Oslo, Feb. 15 2018.: Photographer: Kyrre Lien/Bloomberg

Three of the world’s biggest oil companies called on Norway to help maintain funding for carbon capture and storage technology that is stagnating amid concerns about whether it can ever be cost-effective.

The chief executive officers of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Total SA and Norway’s state-controlled Statoil ASA gathered on the sidelines of an energy conference in Oslo to make the case for a flagship Norwegian project, in which the companies plan to store CO2 emissions under the North Sea after they’ve been shipped and piped from onshore industrial plants. read more

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Shell platform transformed into artificial reef in the Gulf of Mexico

Source: Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement

For nearly 40 years, a 350-foot-tall metal frame in the Gulf of Mexico supported a platform that pumped oil and gas from the seafloor. The 3,000-ton structure was recently converted into an artificial reef off the coast of Louisiana, where it will serve as habitat for fish and other marine life.

Shell’s Cougar platform was installed in 1981 and produced about 31 million barrels of oil and gas over its lifetime, said Shell external relations advisor, Theodore Rolfvondenbaumen. The platform was recently decommissioned and the deck and topside were brought back to shore. The metal frame of the structure was donated to Louisiana’s Artificial Reef Program. read more

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Nigerian court sets Malabu oilfield corruption case hearing for June 18

ABUJA, Feb 15 (Reuters) – A Nigerian court has set a hearing over a disputed 2011 oilfield deal for June 18, the country’s financial crimes watchdog said on Thursday, part of a string of international corruption probes into the purchase.

The case relates to a purchase of the offshore OPL 245 oilfield in Nigeria by oil majors Royal Dutch Shell and Eni in 2011.

At the core of the case is a $1.3 billion payment from Shell and Eni to secure the block from Malabu Oil and Gas, allegedly controlled by former Nigerian oil minister Dan Etete. read more

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Ogoni: Shell Continues to Cast Shadow Over Human Rights in Nigeria

Photo courtesy of UNPO @Flikr

15 FEB 2018

As the British-Dutch oil company pushes to return to the Ogoniland region, civil society actors warn about the risk for human rights that its presence would pose. Since the beginning of Shell’s operations in the Niger Delta in 1957, the company has been responsible for the ruthless exploitation of natural resources in the area, severely degrading the living conditions of the population. Should it succeed in its intention to regain the activity in the region, the respect for the rights of the Ogoni would once again be placed at risk. read more

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Shell’s Pivot to Renewables Sharpens With California Deal

(Bloomberg) — Royal Dutch Shell Plc, the world’s second-biggest oil company, is expanding its bet on renewable energy.

Shell’s North American unit agreed to provide a credit line for trading and a revolving loan facility to Inspire Energy Holdings LLC, according to a statement Wednesday. The Santa Monica, California-based clean-power, smart-home and energy-management company will use the funds to expand its reach. Terms weren’t disclosed.

While Shell and its major rivals still have the bulk of their investments in oil and natural gas, they are taking steps to diversify. Shell agreed in January to buy a 44 percent stake in Nashville-based Silicon Ranch Corp., which owns and operates about 100 U.S. solar plants. A month earlier, the Anglo-Dutch company bought First Utility Ltd., the U.K.’s seventh-largest power provider. And that followed deals last year for electric-car charging networks in Europe. read more

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Dutch residents lose patience after years of tremors

Anjli Raval, Oil & Gas Correspondent

This corner of the Netherlands has for decades been blighted by earthquakes triggered by extraction from the Groningen gasfield, discovered in 1959 and the largest in Europe. But their frequency and magnitude have been increasing, damaging houses and infrastructure and agitating communities who blame the government and two of the world’s biggest energy companies for billions of euros in damage.

FULL ARTICLE CAN BE FOUND ON FT WEBSITE

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Shell’s Hydro-Battery Project Hit With Tribes’ FERC Protest

Law360 (February 14, 2018, 6:12 PM EST) — The Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation in Washington filed a protest with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Tuesday, saying it had concerns about the potential impact of Shell’s proposed hydro-battery project on cultural resources and the environment.

The CTCR said the project is proposed…

ACCESS TO FULL ARTICLE SUBJECT TO LAW360 SUBSCRIPTION
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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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Shell makes another bet on renewables, backs California-based Inspire

|By: , SA News Editor read more

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Appeal court rules Nigerians cannot pursue Shell spill claim in England

Libby GeorgeTife Owolabi: 14 FEB 2018 LONDON/YENAGOA, Nigeria (Reuters) – The Court of Appeal in London ruled on Wednesday that two Nigerian communities cannot pursue Royal Dutch Shell in English courts over oil spills in Nigeria’s Delta region.

The split decision upheld a High Court ruling last year that was a setback to attempts to hold British multinationals liable at home for their subsidiaries’ actions abroad.

The court rejected the appeal from law firm Leigh Day on behalf of Nigeria’s Bille and Ogale communities, and upheld a ruling that English courts do not have jurisdiction over claims against Shell’s Nigerian subsidiary Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC).

SPDC is jointly operated with the Nigerian government. read more

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Nigeria: UK court deals a blow to oil spill victims and corporate accountability

Responding to a Court of Appeals judgement that two Niger Delta communities cannot have their case against oil giant Shell heard in the UK because the parent company cannot be held liable for the actions of its Nigerian subsidiary, Joe Westby, Amnesty International’s Campaigner on Business and Human Rights, said:

“With this ruling the court has struck a blow not only to the Ogale and Bille communities, who live everyday with the devastating consequences of Shell oil spills, but with victims of corporate human rights abuses all over the world. This ruling sets a dangerous precedent and will make it more difficult to hold UK companies to account. read more

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Oil giant Shell wins latest UK court fight over Niger Delta pollution claims

PRESS ASSOCIATION

Oil giant Shell has defeated the latest legal bid by thousands of Nigerians to have their damages claims over pollution dealt with by the English courts.

Last year, a judge in London made a ruling which meant that any compensation actions by two Nigerian communities affected by oil spills would have to be heard in Nigeria.

The communities later went to the Court of Appeal to challenge the decision of Mr Justice Fraser.

On Wednesday, judges in London dismissed their appeal by a majority of two to one. read more

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Inspire and Shell Energy North America Enter Multi-Year Strategic Relationship

Shell Energy will partner with Inspire to accelerate consumer adoption of clean energy, with plans to grow to over one million Inspire members

SANTA MONICA, Calif.Feb. 14, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Inspire, a consumer technology company focused on enabling everyone to have a smart home powered by clean energy, announced today that it has entered into a multi-year strategic relationship with Shell Energy North America. Under the arrangement, Shell will provide Inspire with a broad range of services to support the company’s aggressive expansion plans over the next several years, including a credit line for trading and a revolving credit facility. Shell’s support will facilitate Inspire’s purchase of clean energy products and accelerate membership growth, with capacity for over one million members. The new arrangement comes on the heels of Shell’s recent commitment to increase its development of new energies, spending up to $2 billion a year until 2020.  read more

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Inside the Bribery Scandal Sweeping Through the Oil Industry

Shell and Eni paid $1.3 billion for oil rights in Nigeria. Whether the money was mostly a bribe is at the heart of one of the industry’s most dramatic criminal cases

EXTRACTS

By Sarah Kent in Abuja, Nigeria, and Eric Sylvers in Milan: Feb. 13, 2018 12:40 p.m. ET

A top oil executive walked into the marble lobby of an exclusive Milan hotel on a chilly winter night. His dinner date was a former Nigerian oil minister offering to sell one of Africa’s biggest untapped oil discoveries.

Eight years later, the question of whether the $1.3 billion paid for the license to that prized oil field was mostly a bribe is at the heart of one of the biggest bribery scandals the oil industry has ever seen.

Shell executives, including Malcolm Brinded, Shell’s global exploration and production chief at the time of the deal, will also be tried on those charges, as well as both companies. Eni and Shell both deny wrongdoing, saying they simply paid the government and didn’t know the money would be used for … read more

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Shell settles state, U.S. clean air violations at Louisiana plant

Reuters Staff: 12 FEB 2018

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s Shell Chemical LP will install a $10 million pollution monitoring and control system at its Norco, Louisiana, chemical plant as part of a settlement over allegations it violated the Clean Air Act, the U.S. Department of Justice said on Monday.

In a statement, the department said Shell Chemical would also pay $350,000 in civil penalties as part of the consent decree. 

Writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe read more

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Shell settles clean air violations at Louisiana plant

|By: , SA News Editor

Royal Dutch Shell’s (RDS.A, RDS.B) Shell Chemical LP will install and operate a $10M pollution monitoring and control system at its Norco, La., chemical plant as part of a settlement over allegations it violated the Clean Air Act, the Department of Justice says.

The pollution controls are estimated to reduce air emissions of volatile organic compounds by ~159 tons/year and cut other harmful air pollutants, including benzene, by 18 tons/year.

Shell Chemical also will pay $350K in civil penalties as part of the consent decree. 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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Shell collaborates with Oath to launch next phase of its “Make the Future” campaign

SINGAPORE – Media OutReach – 12 February 2018 – Today, Oath announces a global deal with Mediacom and Shell to take the energy brand’s “Make the Future” campaign into its next phase. The new phase brings the content of its “On Top of the World” music video to life through a crafted WebGL “Globe” activation, created by Oath’s RYOT Studio global solutions team in collaboration with UNIT9: allowing people to explore the five cleaner energy projects featured within the music video through its interactive design. The music video itself features five global artists and celebrates five cleaner energy solutions supported by Shell across four continents that are helping provide access to cleaner energy and support local communities.  This content will reach Oath’s millennial and mobile audiences across five markets (US, UK, Brazil, Singapore, and India) using Tumblr and its Yahoo Gemini and BrightRoll premium video distribution and syndication channels, driving audiences to the interactive “Globe” to explore the content. 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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Shell takes on Big Six energy giants

Shell said its UK energy would be “significantly organised around solar and wind”CHRISTOPHER FURLONG/GETTY IMAGES

Royal Dutch Shell’s plans to take on the Big Six energy suppliers include buying gas-fired power plants and building wind and solar farms in Britain.

The Anglo-Dutch oil company will use its network of 1,000 petrol stations to market the venture and sign up household and business energy customers, Maarten Wetselaar, an executive director of Shell, said. It aims eventually to offer related services, such as electric car charging in homes. read more

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Shell Loses $300M-Plus Oil Cleanup Claim Against Dole Unit

Law360 (February 9, 2018, 8:37 PM EST) — Shell Oil Co. lost a bid at getting more than $300 million in oil waste cleanup costs reimbursed by a Dole real estate subsidiary when a California court ruled Thursday the regional water board’s order listing the developer as a contributor to the pollution has not…

ACCESS TO FULL ARTICLE SUBJECT TO LAW360 SUBSCRIPTION

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Canadian shale boom triggers quakes in Alberta town as frackers rush to drill new wells

Communities like Fox Creek, Alberta, are feeling the economic benefits of the shale boom, along with fracking-linked earthquakes. 

Drilling has been so intense near Fox Creek, Alberta that it’s been linked to a series of earthquakes.Brennan Linsley/AP Photo

Bloomberg News: Robert Tuttle: February 9, 2018: 12:59 PM EST

In the Western Alberta town of Fox Creek, roughnecks shuffle through hotel lobbies, freight trucks choke slushy streets and, every once in a while, tremors shake the earth.

Welcome to Canada’s biggest shale boom. Chevron Corp., Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Encana Corp., Murphy Oil Corp. and XTO Energy Inc. are among those flocking to Fox Creek to stake their claim in the oil-rich Duvernay shale formation. 

Here, the prize is condensate, an ultra-light oil that’s perfect for diluting the heavy tar-sands crude for which Alberta is known. More locally produced diluent would be a plus for Canadian companies that now depend on the U.S. — and for communities like Fox Creek that are feeling the economic benefits along with fracking-linked earthquakes. More of both may be in the offing as drillers flock in Chevron’s wake into the Duvernay region. read more

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Oil hits seven-week low on expectations of higher U.S., Iran output

FILE PHOTO: Filled oil drums are seen at Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s lubricants blending plant in the town of Torzhok, north-west of Tver, November 7, 2014. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin/File Photo Ayenat MersieEjigu: 8 FEB 2018 NEW YORK (Reuters) – Oil prices fell to their lowest in seven weeks on Thursday amid fears of rising global supplies after Iran announced plans to increase production and U.S. crude output hit record highs.

Brent futures LCOc1 fell 70 cents, or 1.1 percent, to settle at $64.81 a barrel, their lowest close since Dec. 20.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1, meanwhile, was down 64 cents, or 1 percent, to settle at $61.15, its lowest close since Jan. 2.

Both benchmarks fell for the fifth straight day, the longest losing streak for Brent since November 2017 and for WTI since April 2017.

Brent futures have lost as much as 15 percent since hitting a four-year high above $71 in late January. read more

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LNG: a US success story that tests the laws of economics

, Energy Markets Editor

“The LNG glut — conspicuously absent isn’t it?” Royal Dutch Shell chief executive Ben Van Beurden said last week, in a rare display of public self-satisfaction from a modern energy major head. He had good reason to allow himself a moment’s celebration. Shell’s decision to buy BG Group in 2015 was, at least in part, a major bet on the future of LNG. It looks now like it should pay out far sooner than many in the industry anticipated.

FULL FT ARTICLE 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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