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Posts from ‘January, 2014’

New Shell chief vows to stop the rot

FINANCIAL TIMES

Ben van Beurden’s message was clear: Royal Dutch Shell has to change.

In his first public outing as chief executive of the Anglo-Dutch oil major, he did not stint on the self-criticism. Shell, he said, had “lost momentum”. It had “not always made the right capital choices”. It had got “ahead of [itself]” in places like the Arctic. Its returns were now “too low to be considered competitive”.

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Shell official says issue in Chukchi Sea court ruling can be fixed

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Juneau (Platts)–31Jan2014/1257 pm EST/1757 GMT

Shell’s decision not to proceed with 2014 drilling in the Chukchi Sea was a tough one for the company, but the silver lining in the US Circuit Court of Appeals decision that scuttled Shell’s plan was the fact that the court only agreed with the plaintiffs on one narrow issue, which can be remedied, a senior company official said Thursday in an interview. Unfortunately, the repair job cannot be done in time for Shell to drill this summer, said Shell’s Alaska president, Pete Slaiby. The issue is now back in an Alaska US District Court.

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Royal Dutch Shell Alaska timeline

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Anchorage Daily News January 30, 2014

Royal Dutch Shell’s announcement that it wouldn’t drill in 2014 is the latest twist in the oil giant’s long history in Alaska.

Here are some recent developments:

• March 2005: Shell dominates a federal offshore oil lease sale for the Beaufort Sea with $44 million in winning bids.

• February 2008: Shell is top player in federal offshore lease sale for the Chukchi Sea with almost $2.2 billion in winning bids, returning to an area it relinquished in 1996.

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Shell petrol stations a potential goldmine

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January 31, 2014 – 2:41PM

Screen Shot 2013-12-22 at 19.09.52Self-managed super funds and global oil giants are just some of the potential investors licking their lips at the prospect of Shell’s high-profile petrol station properties being put on the market, a move that could also bring back more independent, family run petrol businesses.

Shell gave the clearest sign yet overnight that it wants to reduce its exposure to the Australian petrol station scene…

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Shareholders have grounds to bring lawsuits against Royal Dutch Shell Plc?

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 07.56.54According to an informed source, there is significant potential for shareholder lawsuits against the directors of Shell on the basis of their failure to control spending, possibly in breach of both their fiduciary obligations and internal corporate procedures. The expenditure of $26 billion on “unconventionals” suggests that in North America spending was completely out of control. Message to the mainstream media. Check with your lawyers. I believe they will confirm the likelihood of a flood of class actions lawsuits. 

By John Donovan

According to an informed source, there is significant potential for shareholder lawsuits against the directors of Shell on the basis of their failure to control spending, possibly in breach of both their fiduciary obligations and internal corporate procedures. The expenditure of $26 billion on “unconventionals” suggests that in North America spending was completely out of control. Comments on this site and in the press suggest that little of this expenditure is likely to be recovered, with multi-billion dollar write-downs of US assets expected to be a feature of Shell’s accounts for years to come.
 
The Brent price fixing investigations have been largely stalled by Shell’s actions in attempting to block the sharing of discovery information between the various government agencies investigating the allegations. The sharing was authorised by a federal court, but this ruling has been appealed by Shell, effectively stalling the process.
 
A cynical view is that the major projects in Alaska, Pennsylvania and Louisiana (and possibly unconventionals) were primarily about buying political influence. In states where employment is a major issue much of the business of congress is taken up with bringing home “pork” to their home states and landing these projects would have been major achievements for the congressmen concerned.
 
The cancellation of the Louisiana GTL plant, the doubts surrounding the viability of the Pennsylvania petrochemical facility, and the indefinite postponement of the Alaska exploration programme should be seen as both a means of reducing capital expenditure by Shell and as a means of putting pressure on the US government. The reality is that Shell can ill-afford any of these projects.

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You cannot escape history: Royal Dutch Shell and Allseas

INTRODUCTION BY JOHN DONOVAN: Royal Dutch Shell Plc (Company Secretary Michiel Brandjes) and Allseas were given advance sight of the article below on Tuesday and notified of my intention to publish today. They were offered the opportunity to point out any factual inaccuracies plus an invitation to supply comment for publication on an unedited basis alongside the article. I stated that if no response was received by today, Friday 31 January, I would take that as confirmation that Shell and Allseas do not challenge the facts as stated. No response was received from either company.

EXTRACT FROM THE ARTICLE: “So we are now in this twisted historical situation that a company with a heavy burden on its shoulders regarding supporting Nazi Germany during and after the leadership of Deterding in the 1930’s, has ordered a company with an equally dubious history to decommission Shell oil platforms using a ship named in honour of a former SS officer.”

By Ton Biesemaat

You cannot escape history: Royal Dutch Shell and Allseas

Two companies with a dubious past history come together. One is Royal Dutch Shell, which under her chief managing director Sir Henri Deterding financially supported Nazi Germany. The other one is Allseas, owned by Edward Heerema. He is the son of Pieter Schelte Heerema, pioneer of the offshore business and a former Waffen SS member and diehard Nazi.

Allseas has ordered a South Korean ship builder to produce one of the largest ships in the world for decommissioning obsolete oil platforms in for example the North Sea. European legislation, which originates from the famous Brent Spar affair, obliges oil companies to dismantle these oil and gas platforms in an environmentally safe way. A whole new multi billion dollar business in the North Sea and Gulf of Mexico is emerging. The mega ship from Allseas is now in its test phase.

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Shell keeps Woodside sale in play

Screen Shot 2013-12-22 at 19.09.52OIL giant Royal Dutch Shell has confirmed it is considering the sale of its Australian fuel retailing and marketing assets, along with its Geelong refinery, as part of an accelerated campaign to raise $US15 billion ($17.1bn) from sales of its portfolio across the globe.

The admission, made in the company’s fourth-quarter profit report released last night, comes as new chief executive Ben van Beurden looks to quickly turn around what he sees as unacceptable capital efficiency operational performance and project delivery.

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Shell Says EU Energy Regulation Diverts $1 Billion From Trading

Screen Shot 2014-01-31 at 00.40.27Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Europe’s largest oil company, said the European Union’s planned regulation to curb speculation in commodity derivatives may endanger security of energy supply. EU lawmakers have been reviewing the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, or Mifid, which is “targeted” at financial commodity speculators, said Shell Chief Financial Officer Simon Henry. (right)

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Jan 30, 2014 3:55 PM GMT

Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Europe’s largest oil company, said the European Union’s planned regulation to curb speculation in commodity derivatives may endanger security of energy supply.

EU lawmakers have been reviewing the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, or Mifid, which is “targeted” at financial commodity speculators, said Shell Chief Financial Officer Simon Henry. Shell expects to divert about $1 billion of additional capital for increased margin collaterals from its trading business in February or March to comply with the rules, locking up money that could be used in businesses to ensure supplies for customers, he said.

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Oil drilling on US Arctic coast put on ice

Screen Shot 2013-01-11 at 20.09.51 Oil companies’ rush to find reserves off Alaska’s Arctic shores suffered a setback on Thursday after Shell said it would suspend its operations in the region — and possibly withdraw for good. “We will not drill in Alaska in 2014, and we are reviewing our options there,” Shell CEO Ben van Beurden told reporters in London. “The group’s exploration near the North Pole cost billions of dollars and generated reams of negative press – yet not a single drop of oil has been pumped” said Garry White, Chief Investment Correspondent at British brokerage Charles Stanley.

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By Associated Press, Updated: Thursday, January 30, 2:57 PM

AMSTERDAM — Oil companies’ rush to find reserves off Alaska’s Arctic shores suffered a setback on Thursday after Shell said it would suspend its operations in the region — and possibly withdraw for good.Royal Dutch Shell PLC is the main company to have purchased leases for oilfields off Alaska’s Arctic shores, but its attempts to drill have been halting due to technical and legal hurdles.While other companies are still seeking to exploit deep-water Arctic fields nearby in Canada, Shell’s troubles may indicate that the difficulties outweigh the potential economic benefits.“We will not drill in Alaska in 2014, and we are reviewing our options there,” Shell CEO Ben van Beurden told reporters in London.Shell received a negative Federal court decision last week. Environmentalists are still challenging whether the government’s 2008 decision to open the area to exploration was correctly granted in the first place: it is covered by sea ice for much of the year.

Asked whether Thursday’s retreat means the project is finished, Van Beurden said that depends in part on how the ongoing lawsuit proceeds.

Environmental activists cried victory.

“Shell’s Arctic failure is being watched closely by other oil companies, who must now conclude that this region is too remote, too hostile and too iconic to be worth exploring,” Greenpeace International Arctic oil campaigner Charlie Kronick said in a reaction.

Jacqueline Savitz, the U.S. chief of the Oceana conservationist group, said Shell’s retreat shows that offshore drilling in the Arctic is “simply not a good bet from a business perspective.”

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Shell shelves plan to drill in Alaskan Arctic this summer

Screen Shot 2013-01-31 at 17.38.03“The company has spent huge amounts of time and money on a project that has delivered nothing apart from bad publicity and a reputation for incompetence. The only wise decision at this point is for Mr. Van Beurden to cut his company’s losses and scrap any future plans to drill in the remote Arctic ocean.”

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Anglo Dutch oil giant’s new chief executive slashes exploration and development spending as profits fall 71%

theguardian.com,

Shell has announced plans to slash its exploration and development spending from $46bn (£27.8bn) to $37bn this year and has ditched plans to drill in the Alaskan Arctic this summer.

The cutbacks were unveiled by new chief executive, Ben van Beurden, who said they were part of a range of initiatives to make up for what he described as Shell’s “loss of momentum”.

Van Beurden, who took over from Peter Voser at the turn of the year confirmed that fourth-quarter profits – on a current cost of supply basis – had plunged by 71% to $2.1bn. Annual earnings almost halved to $16.7bn.

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Should have bought his fuel somewhere else?

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PHOTO AND CAPTION COURTESY OF THE BBC: Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso stands next to the new F14T car after it stopped during Formula 1 Testing at the Ciruito de Jerez, Spain

Shell Puts Its Arctic Plans on Ice

Screen Shot 2014-01-30 at 15.20.51SHELL GETS COLD FEET

Royal Dutch Shell won’t drill in the U.S. Arctic this year.

A combination of a federal appeals court ruling and a need to get a handle on booming costs appear to have been the straws that broke the camel’s back.

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