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Posts from ‘November, 2013’

Ormen Lange problem cuts Norway gas output

Norwegian gas exports were cut by a fifth of peak capacity on Thursday after an outage at the plant processing gas from Royal Dutch Shell’s giant Ormen Lange field, limiting gas exports to Europe at a time of high demand.

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Thu Nov 28, 2013 5:23am EST

* Norway’s gas exports cut by 17 pct on Thurs vs Wed

* UK gas prices rise on the news

* Gas exports cut to last until 0500 GMT on Friday

* Statoil’s gas output cut by 25.5 mcm/day on Thursday

By Balazs Koranyi and Gwladys Fouche

OSLO, Nov 28 (Reuters) – Norwegian gas exports were cut by a fifth of peak capacity on Thursday after an outage at the plant processing gas from Royal Dutch Shell’s giant Ormen Lange field, limiting gas exports to Europe at a time of high demand. read more

Brent Rigging Suit Lawyers Fight Over Litigation Control

Screen Shot 2013-05-17 at 01.06.41The traders, represented by the New York-based law firm Kirby McInerney LLP, sued last month in Manhattan federal court claiming some of the world’s biggest oil companies, including BP Plc, Statoil ASA, and Royal Dutch Shell Plc, conspired with Morgan Stanley and energy traders including Vitol Group to manipulate spot prices for Brent crude oil for more than a decade.

Screen Shot 2013-02-01 at 15.08.50 By Bob Van VorisNov 27, 2013 9:27 PM GMT

Attorneys for four oil traders suing over alleged manipulation of crude prices copied much of their complaint and violated federal court rules in an attempt to control the litigation, a rival group of lawyers claimed.

The traders, represented by the New York-based law firm Kirby McInerney LLP, sued last month in Manhattan federal court claiming some of the world’s biggest oil companies, including BP Plc (BP/), Statoil ASA (STL), and Royal Dutch Shell Plc, conspired with Morgan Stanley (MS) and energy traders including Vitol Group to manipulate spot prices for Brent crude oil for more than a decade. The benchmark is used to price more than half the world’s crude and helps determine where costs are headed for fuels including gasoline and heating oil. read more

Administration considers whether to allow Shell to resume Arctic oil exploration

The Obama administration is weighing whether to allow Shell to resume drilling in Arctic waters after a series of mishaps halted its controversial oil exploration effort last year. Ken Salazar, allowed Shell to drill in the Arctic waters north of Alaska last year, only to later say the company “screwed up.”

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By Sean Cockerham
McClatchy Washington Bureau: Posted on Wednesday, 11.27.13

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is weighing whether to allow Shell to resume drilling in Arctic waters after a series of mishaps halted its controversial oil exploration effort last year.

The decision is among the toughest issues faced by new Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, who portrays herself as both an advocate for the environment and a supporter of drilling.

Jewell’s predecessor, Ken Salazar, allowed Shell to drill in the Arctic waters north of Alaska last year, only to later say the company “screwed up.” Interior Department spokeswoman Kate Kelly said Wednesday that drilling won’t resume until the agency has confidence that the effort addresses lessons learned. read more

Shell Downgraded

On Oct 31, Shell reported third quarter 2013 adjusted earnings of $1.43 per ADR, well below the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.70. This was the company’s second consecutive miss. The fourth quarter does not seem bright for the company either.

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Shell Slips to Sell

by Zacks Equity Research   Published on

On Nov 26, Zacks Investment Research downgraded Europe’s largest oil company, Royal Dutch Shell plc (RDS.AAnalyst Report), to a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Why the Downgrade?

On Oct 31, Shell reported third quarter 2013 adjusted earnings of $1.43 per ADR, well below the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.70. This was the company’s second consecutive miss.

Results suffered due to higher costs, lower output, supply disruptions in Nigeria and a drop in refining margin. Segmental performance was also weak with both the Upstream and Downstream segment earnings falling below the prior-year level. read more

Report: France’s Total Eyes Gazprom’s Baltic LNG Project

Without attributing the information to any sources, the paper also said Gazprom had invited Royal Dutch Shell, its partner in Russia’s only LNG plant, to join the project.

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by  Reuters: Wednesday, November 27, 2013

MOSCOW, Nov 27 (Reuters) – French oil major Total is looking for a stake in Russian gas firm Gazprom’s future Baltic liquefied natural gas plant after the partners decided to mothball their Shtokman LNG project, Vedomosti daily said on Wednesday.

Without attributing the information to any sources, the paper also said Gazprom had invited Royal Dutch Shell, its partner in Russia’s only LNG plant, to join the project.

Gazprom, Total and Shell in Moscow declined to comment. read more

Shell Produces Gas at Record Low Cost in China

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By Charles Kennedy | Tue, 26 November 2013

Royal Dutch Shell has announced it is producing natural gas at its Changbei project in China at a major discount and plans to start test production in the second phase by late next year or early 2015.

In partnership with PetroChina, Shell is producing natural gas from the Changbei field at $1 per barrel, or 91% lower than PetroChina’s lifting cost of $11.74 per barrel as of 2012 in similar projects.

Shell, taking advantage of China’s unconventional gas sector, is investing a total of $1 billion in China this year, and the Changbei project’s cheap production is helping to offset investment costs. Shell has also said it would continue to invest the same amount annually in China. read more

Iran opens contacts with oil groups

FINANCIAL TIMES

November 26, 2013

In his first interview with the foreign media, the minister who persuaded the likes of Total, Royal Dutch Shell, Eni and Statoil to invest in the oil and gas sector in the 1990s despite US sanctions, said these companies were now among those he was seeking to attract back to Iran. Peter Voser, Shell’s outgoing chief executive, told an industry conference last month that Iran had “vast resources”… FULL FT ARTICLE

Is the Last Oil Frontier About to Open Up?

Royal Dutch Shell , for example, has spent more than $5 billion on its Alaskan Arctic program with nothing to show for it. This time around Shell has signed a contract with Transocean on a rig that starts in July. Previously, Shell had used its own rig, Kulluk, and one owned by Noble Corp. . It was the Kulluk that ran aground in 2012…

by Matthew DiLallo, The Motley Fool Nov 26th 2013 2:00PM

Melting Arctic ice caps are springing forth a new frontier for global commerce. New sea lanes are starting to open and more activity is coming to the region. This changing landscape has some suggesting that the last frontier for oil and gas companies might soon be more accessible.

With these changes come new challenges. It’s not just global oil companies that are interested in exploring this final frontier. Countries like China and Russia are looking to stake claim to the region, which could one day prove to be an issue for national security. That is why this transformation will need to be handled with care to protect the already fragile environment and relationships with those nations seeking to extract the region’s natural resources. read more

Nigeria: Gas plant cut off by buildings

*”This is unbelievable – why did it take so long for Shell to realise?

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NIGERIA

Gas plant cut off by buildings

Royal Dutch Shell has shut its Obigbo natural gas processing plant in Rivers State, southern Nigeria, after buildings were erected over pipelines connected to the facility. About 40 million cubic feet a day of gas was shut in, affecting supply to industrial consumers and power plants, Precious Okolobo, a Lagos-based spokesman, said yesterday. The facility was halted on November 1 after “discovering different types of buildings and structures have been erected on high pressure gas pipelines, thereby exposing the occupants to considerable health and safety risk”, he said. Shell was working with the Rivers State government on “options to address the challenge”, Okolobo added, without providing further details. – Bloomberg read more

SHELL KEEPS DIGGING A DEEPER HOLE

Europe’s biggest oil company is burning through cash at an extraordinary rate. Shell shareholders have long nursed a low level of dissatisfaction. Many were underwhelmed by the appointment of yet another chief executive from deep within the Anglo-Dutch behemoth, which is steeped in a profound love for big engineering projects and an apparently dismissive attitude to investors. Van Beurden started at the company in 1983. These are not fresh eyes. How long will investors give him before that simmering resentment boils over? Despite its issues, BP has left Shell in the shade.

THE SUNDAY TIMES: INSIDE THE CITY: DANNY FORTSON: PAGE 14 OF SECTION 3: BUSINESS: 24 NOVEMBER 2013

INVESTORS are sick of companies that spend oodles of cash on shiny new projects rather than handing it to shareholders. That is the reason behind the boardroom bloodbaths this year at the big miners. Rio Tinto BHP Billiton, Anglo American, African Barrick Gold, the list goes on. All of them parted company with chief executives after years of spending buckets of cash on mines and ill-fated takeovers that did little or nothing for investor returns.

The message, finally, came through: no more empire building. read more

Worrying signs over the viability of Arrow LNG’s project

ARROW Energy’s major shareholders are Royal Dutch Shell and PetroChina. There are some disturbing signals coming from them that may see plans for the construction of a fourth LNG plant on Curtis Island go the way of the dodo.

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  •  Bob Lamont
  • 26th Nov 2013 6:28 AM

ARROW Energy’s major shareholders are Royal Dutch Shell and PetroChina. There are some disturbing signals coming from them that may see plans for the construction of a fourth LNG plant on Curtis Island go the way of the dodo.

Just remember these words from an Arrow Energy spokesman reported in a national daily: “Arrow has previously stated that it is results and value-focused and not schedule driven.”

After state approval, a Federal Government decision has been put off until December. read more

Shell’s U.S. shale woes are no match for oil bandits in Africa

Shell’s financial losses associated with oil theft and sabotage in Nigeria have emerged as a quarterly theme this year, alongside the company’s struggling North American shale gas investments.

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Joel Kirkland, E&E reporter: EnergyWire: Friday, November 22, 2013

To many, Nigeria’s claim to fame has nothing to do with its role as a major oil producer. It’s better known as the country of origin for an elaborate online fraud that starts with a polite email from a “barrister.”

For oil and gas companies operating in Nigeria, the email scams targeting unsuspecting Americans provide a tiny window into the industry’s daily operational challenges. Billions of dollars in potential revenues have been siphoned off by oil bandits in the southeastern Niger Delta region in recent years. All the while, billions more are spent by international oil companies to expand drilling and their capacity to export Nigeria’s oil and gas. read more

Deepwater drilling

Shortly after the presentation, the oil majors posted dreadful Q2 results, prompting Shell CEO Peter Voser to declare Shell would discontinue production guidance to focus on quarter by quarter cash flow growth. Goldman Sachs singled out Shell for excessive investment in low return assets…

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Those who saw the ‘Capex Compression’ road show back in the summer will recall that Douglas Westwood expressed concern that oil prices would not rise to cover rising exploration and production costs, and that this would force the operators to cut Capex. Shortly after the presentation, the oil majors posted dreadful Q2 results, prompting Shell CEO Peter Voser to declare Shell would discontinue production guidance to focus on quarter by quarter cash flow growth. Moreover, the investment banks began calling for the oil majors to cut Capex. Goldman Sachs singled out Shell for excessive investment in low return assets, although the investment bank had indicated that deepwater should be spared. read more

Shell Centre redevelopment public inquiry gets under way

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Monday 25 November 2013

A public inquiry into plans to redevelop the Shell Centre on the South Bank has begun.

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The inquiry, which is expected to sit for a total of 12 days between now and mid-December, is being held at Hercules House near Lambeth North Station.

Planning inspector John Braithwaite has been appointed to report to communities secretary Eric Pickles on the proposed redevelopment of the Shell Centre.

Plans by developers Braeburn Estates to demolish most of the oil company’s office complex apart from the main tower and build new offices, shops and nearly 900 homes on the site were approved by Lambeth councillors in May. read more

Nigeria: The Scandal of Nigerian Oil Block OPL 245

Screen Shot 2013-05-13 at 17.33.04Shell and Eni deny paying any money to Malabu Oil and Gas. However, High Court proceedings and other evidence seen by Global Witness reveal that, in reality, Shell and Eni were aware and in agreement that the deal was for the benefit of Malabu, and had even met with Etete face-to-face on several occasions. In fact, testimony heard during the case indicates that an official from Shell previously negotiated directly with Etete over “iced champagne”…

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25 November 2013

How secrecy in the oil & gas sector and the use of anonymous shell companies led to hundreds of millions of dollars being diverted away from Nigeria’s citizens and into the hands of a convicted money-launderer.

The Story

In May 2012, Global Witness pieced together detailed court documents and other evidence that exposed how Nigerian subsidiaries of Royal Dutch Shell and Italian oil giant Eni agreed to pay US$1.092 billion for one of Nigeria’s most lucrative oil blocks, OPL245. read more

Royal Dutch Shell plc: Maybe I’m clutching at straws

Screen Shot 2013-01-11 at 20.09.51Yes, there is plenty to hate about Shell right now. It is currently under investigation for rigging petrol prices, and European Commission plans to prevent future commodity market abuse could force up prices. Maybe I’m clutching at straws, but that’s love for you.

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Why I Love Royal Dutch Shell plc

Published in Investing on 25 November 2013

Extracts

There is something to love and hate in almost every stock. I still harbour warm thoughts towards Royal Dutch Shell, although sometimes I wonder why.

Shell has taught me the value of patience.

Patience is a virtue, they say. If that’s so, long-term investors in Shell must be very virtuous indeed. The stock is down 2% over the last two years, against a 28% rise in the FTSE 100. It is up just 3% in the past year, against 16% for the index. Shell is the straggler of my portfolio. Yet I simply refuse to believe this will continue. read more

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