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UPDATED: Bloomberg accused of publishing false Shell production forecasts

It is notable that although Bloomberg routinely make their articles permanently accessible on the Bloomberg website, the article that was the subject of postings by our contributors below – “Outsider” and “Insider” – has been deleted by Bloomberg without explanation or apology. It is of course impossible to do the same with newspaper articles which were published based on the Bloomberg article.

REVISED POSTING ON SHELL BLOG BY “Outsider”

How much did Shell pay Bloomberg to misquote their production forecasts?

It is unbelievable that two of Bloomberg’s journalists put out a story, reprinted around the world again and again, which is completely false.

Bloomberg claimed that Shell’s production will rise to 4.25MMBoe/day in 2012, surpassing BP. Shell’s own forecast in the Deutsche Bank presentation is that they will be producing just 3.2 MMBOE/day in 2012 in spite of their massive capital investment programme. BP expect to produce 4.1 MMBOE/day in 2012.

Shell overtaking BP? I don’t think so. Some of the articles even attribute an increase in Shell’s share price to the claim that Shell will increase their production by 30% – could it be that someone is deliberately trying to manipulate the share price?

SUBSEQUENT SHELL BLOG POSTING BY “INSIDER”

Outsider: well spotted! In Henry’s presentation he mentions a 5% decline from existing fields. This is hope over reason. Just look at viewgraph 8 of the famous overpromise-underdelivery presentation in 2000. I am sure you can get hold of a copy. In those days the decline of existing oil assets was 10% per year and this was based on very detailed and thorough work by professionals.

If anything, the decline will now be steeper because Shell has trained and developed people good at behavioural skills and preferably working in finance or HR and much less in the mundane fieldmonitoring and dreadful reservoir engineering. That is something the service contractors will do for us. (Remember that Jennings was of the opinion HR meant Human Remains, a scandal ensued and he apologised. But we were all wrong and he was right!!!).

So, if Henry thinks we will decline by 5%, this means gasassets are infinite and will not decline. Therefore I humbly suggest Simon to go speak (or more important, LISTEN) to some reservoir engineers who will explain it slowly to him. These should be reservoir engineers who are close to retirement and have nothing to fear. There should be one or two left… And don’t tell Brinded you spoke to a reservoir engineer because he might blow a fuse!

Couple all this highly optimistic forecasting (other people might call it lies) to the recent inability of Shell to deliver on major projects and the 3.25 mln boe/day becomes very dodgy.

No doubt we will be following the production endeavours of Shell on the Donovan site.

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Did Bloomberg publish false Shell production forecasts?

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