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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”.

FULL ARTICLE

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.

FULL ARTICLE SUBJECT TO SUBSCRIPTION

Shell profit warning – the shock that wasn’t

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 07.56.54In a mix and mingle of rational and strange explanations, while distancing himself as the ‘New Man’ from what happened under previous CEO Peter Voser, the new CEO firstly blamed lower oil and gas prices, which for oil is a strange claim. Shell’s supposedly ‘shocking’ admission its profits will be low for several years – many analysts cite 2017 as the year when the ‘annus horribilis’ will end – cannot be treated as surprising. This was above all a disaster waiting to happen, and it happened.

New CEO Admits

Shell’s new CEO Ben van Beurden has admitted corporate performance in 2013 was not what he expected from the group. Just two weeks after taking over the helm at end-December, he gave what journalists and commentators called ‘a shock profit warning’, saying that full-year profits excluding ‘special items’ could be about 25% below 2012’s performance. For the 4th Quarter of 2013 Shell’s earnings before special items fell by about 50%.

In a mix and mingle of rational and strange explanations, while distancing himself as the ‘New Man’ from what happened under previous CEO Peter Voser, the new CEO firstly blamed lower oil and gas prices, which for oil is a strange claim. He went on to widen his claims by saying that Shell is exposed to “weak industry conditions” in downstream oil, unexpected costs in its drive to become the most natural gas-oriented of the oil majors, higher exploration and infrastructure expenses, higher corporate risks, especially in Iraq, and lower upstream production volumes.

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Shell Profit Drops 48% as Oil and Gas Production Declines

Shell will need to slash investments and boost cash flow to meet its $130 billion net capital-expenditure target for 2012-2015.

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Jan 30, 2014 7:14 AM GMT

Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA), Europe’s largest oil company, said profit plunged 48 percent on exploration expenses and lower production.

Profit excluding one-time items and inventory changes was $2.9 billion in the fourth quarter, down from $5.6 billion a year earlier. That matches the drop Shell forecast on Jan. 17 because of losses in the Americas, lower refining margins and production disruptions in Nigeria and elsewhere.

“Its Americas growth strategy –- the home for 50 percent of past investment –- woefully underdelivering under the weight of dead capital,” Lucas Herrmann, a London-based analyst at Deutsche Bank AG, said before the earnings report. “Corporate change could release huge value.”

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Nigeria: Bonga Oil Spill – FG Fines Shell $11.5 billion

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Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company, SNEPCO, was, yesterday, ordered by Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, and the National Oil Spill Response and Emergency Agency, NOSREA, to pay a total of $11.5 billion, about N1.84 trillion, as fines and compensation for the 2011 Bonga oil spill incident. “The kind of impunity Shell and its allies have demonstrated so far in the Niger Delta area in the past must stop if the future of the people of Nigeria and the environment are to be protected.”

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Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company, SNEPCO, was, yesterday, ordered by Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, and the National Oil Spill Response and Emergency Agency, NOSREA, to pay a total of $11.5 billion, about N1.84 trillion, as fines and compensation for the 2011 Bonga oil spill incident.

Speaking at a public hearing organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Environment, Mr. Patrick Akpobolokemi, Director General, NIMASA, said the maritime agency calculated a total of $6.5 billion, about N1.04 trillion, as compensation to be paid to the communities affected by the spill.

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Argentina tumbling currency under attack by Shell?

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By Jonathan Gilbert | 01/28/14

Axel Kicillof, the economy minister… claimed a “speculative attack” by Shell, the oil company, had contributed to the peso’s dive.

SOURCE

Shell scraps controversial exploration programme in Alaska

Capital spending will fall to $37 billion this year from $46 billion in 2013, Shell said, adding that for the time being it was also scrapping a controversial exploration programme in Alaska.

Shell to cut spending and step up disposals in 2014

Jan 30 (Reuters) – Anglo-Dutch oil company Royal Dutch Shell on Thursday said it would step-up disposals and cut spending as it seeks to win back investors with a new focus on returns, less than two weeks after a shock profit warning.

Shell, the world’s no. 3 investor owned oil company, earlier this month issued a “significant” profit warning for the quarter to the end of December, detailing across-the-board problems just weeks into the tenure of new boss Ben van Beurden.

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New Shell CEO Ben van Beurden sets agenda for sharper performance and rigorous capital discipline

The recent Ninth Circuit Court decision against the Department of the Interior raises substantial obstacles to Shell’s plans for drilling in offshore Alaska. As a result, Shell has decided to stop its exploration programme for Alaska in 2014. “This is a disappointing outcome, but the lack of a clear path forward means that I am not prepared to commit further resources for drilling in Alaska in 2014,” van Beurden said. 

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Speaking to investors today, new Shell CEO Ben van Beurden updated on the company’s priorities: improving Shell’s financial results and achieving better capital efficiency, as well as continuing to strengthen operational performance and project delivery.

Van Beurden, who became the new CEO of Royal Dutch Shell plc (“Shell”) on 1 January 2014, said Shell’s strategy overall is sound. The company has a high quality portfolio and key strengths in technology and project delivery. Shell will continue to invest in new projects that deliver more energy to customers, and create value for shareholders. The strategy is designed to deliver through-cycle growth in cash flow, to drive competitive returns and a growing dividend.

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Shell Abandons U.S. Arctic

Screen Shot 2013-01-11 at 20.09.51LONDON—Royal Dutch Shell PLC on Thursday said it would abandon drilling in the U.S. Arctic, as it reported a 71% decline in fourth-quarter profit largely because of rising costs and lower oil and gas volumes.

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Shell 4Q earnings fall 74 percent

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Shell’s earnings have dropped by 74 percent in the fourth quarter from the same period a year ago, on a mix of higher exploration costs, lower production, and worse refining margins.

The company, which warned on Jan. 17 weaker figures were coming, also had more one-time gains in 2013. Net profit for the quarter was $1.78 billion (130 billion euros), versus $6.73 billion a year earlier.

The earnings report, the first featuring new Chief Executive Ben van Beurden, noted that production was down 5 percent to 3.25 million barrels per day. Shell said 2 percentage points were due to wells shut in Nigeria for security reasons, Shell said, and the rest due to other maintenance and “asset replacement activities” — old fields fading faster than new projects came online.

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Shell Arctic plans at risk

Screen Shot 2013-08-29 at 17.22.26Almost every legal option in dealing with the appeals court decision will take time, however, and Shell may be running out of time, for this year at least. The company must begin making commitments soon to contractors and suppliers if it is to get its drill fleet ready to move north in July.

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Shell Arctic plans at risk after 9th Circuit Court tosses EIS

By Tim Bradner, Alaska Journal of Commerce: Published: 2014.01.29 02:32 PM

A Jan. 22 U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling could invalidate a key section of the Environmental Impact Statement on the 2008 Chukchi Sea Outer Continental Lease Sale, throwing a wrench into planning by Shell to return to the Arctic this summer.

The U.S. Interior Department, the defendant in the case, could ask the Ninth Circuit for a hearing before the full court, as the Jan. 22 decision was not unanimous among a three-judge panel.

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Iraq and Iran plot oil revolution in challenge to Saudi Arabia

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Iraq’s goal of pumping 9m barrels a day of crude could be a game changer for oil prices and British companies: British oil giants BP and Royal Dutch Shell are also poised to benefit from Iraq’s ambitious production plans. Both companies are already managing two huge oil fields in southern Iraq which are vital if Baghdad is to achieve its goal.

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By Andrew Critchlow: 1:32PM GMT 28 Jan 2014

 Iraq is poised to flood the oil market by tripling its capacity to pump crude by 2020 and is collaborating with Iran on strategy in a move that will challenge Saudi Arabia’s grip on the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

“We feel the world needs to be assured of fuel for economic growth,” Hussain al-Shahristani, Deputy Prime Minister for Energy in Iraq told oil industry delegates attending a Chatham House Middle East energy conference.

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Tesoro, Shell Oil settle lawsuit from families of killed workers

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 07.56.54The attorney representing the families of six of the seven refinery workers killed in an explosion in 2010 said they’ve settled a wrongful death lawsuit against Tesoro and Shell Oil Company. The families claimed the company deliberately ignored dangerous conditions at the Anacortes refinery that led to the blast, killing seven workers. Attorney David Beninger said the lawsuit settled last month for around $39 million and the money was divided among the families.

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by JAKE WHITTENBERG / KING 5 News

NWCN.com: Posted on January 29, 2014 at 9:12 AM 

The attorney representing the families of six of the seven refinery workers killed in an explosion in 2010 said they’ve settled a wrongful death lawsuit against Tesoro and Shell Oil Company.

The families claimed the company deliberately ignored dangerous conditions at the Anacortes refinery that led to the blast, killing seven workers. A contractor who was burned but survived was also included in the suit.

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Links to a selection of recent articles relating to Royal Dutch Shell

Links to a selection of recent articles relating to Royal Dutch Shell kindly supplied by a regular contributor

Screen Shot 2013-05-17 at 01.06.41Benchmark in Jeopardy: Oil & Gas Journal-Jan 27, 2014: … by increasing the volatility of an important crude oil price marker. … unveiled investigations into suspicions that representatives of Shell, BP, …

Price-rigging probes jammed by oil industry bid to protect its secrets: Environment & Energy Publishing-Jan 17, 2014: Shell and Vitol, the Switzerland-based multinational oil trader, are pressing the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse a lower court ..

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Why I’ve Sold Royal Dutch Shell plc

Okay, I know this will be controversial, but I really have just sold my shares in Shell.

A company’s recent share price is based on its past profitability.

But its current profits are falling. Full-year profits are expected to be 23% down on last year, and the trend in profitability is clearly downward.

The sudden, sharp fall in profitability has taken me, and many other investors, by surprise.

Shell has invested substantially in gas, particularly liquefied natural gas (LNG). Yet, as more and more shale gas has been produced, the gas market has been over-supplied far more quickly than anyone expected, and gas prices have tumbled.

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Shell Plans Boat to Tap Gas Fields

By Justin Scheck: Jan. 28, 2014 11:16 p.m. ET

Royal Dutch Shell PLC says it has a way to spend less on tapping remote natural-gas fields. There’s just one catch: It will cost at least $10 billion, according to people who have worked on the project.

Shipyard workers in South Korea are building a hull for the Anglo-Dutch company that stretches more than 1,600 feet from bow to stern. The boat will drop anchor in a natural-gas field, chill the gas into liquid and pump it into…

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Shell Oil quietly downsizes its downtown operations

Screen Shot 2014-02-18 at 13.48.06 By 1.28.14 | 5:02 pm

Screen Shot 2013-12-22 at 19.09.52Shell Oil is vacating a huge block of downtown office space in Two Shell Plaza. The renovation of the 26-story Two Shell Plaza will be a powerful marketing tool as Hines leases up the office space Shell will vacate at the end of 2014. Shell will move out of all but two floors in Two Shell, leaving behind some 400,000 square feet of vacancy…

One and Two Shell Plaza, designed by the legendary Bruce Graham of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, opened in the early 1970s. One Shell Plaza was the tallest building in the city and importantly, the tower put the rest of the world on notice — Houston had become the Energy Capital of the World.

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Shell To Sell 23% Interest In Offshore Brazil BC-10 For $1 Bln

Screen Shot 2014-01-29 at 10.01.50 1/29/2014 2:14 AM ET

Screen Shot 2013-12-22 at 19.09.52European energy giant Royal Dutch Shell Plc Wednesday revealed an agreement to sell a 23 percent interest in the Parque das Conchas (BC-10) project offshore Brazil to Qatar Petroleum International for about $1 billion.

SOURCE

Shell to sell a stake in a key U.S. Gulf Coast crude oil pipeline

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Screen Shot 2013-12-22 at 19.09.52Royal Dutch Shell Plc wants to sell a stake in a key U.S. Gulf Coast crude oil pipeline for as much as $1 billion and is working with Barclays Plc to solicit offers, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.

SOURCE

Oil Profits Slump as Higher Spending Fails to Lift Output

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 07.56.54Investors are shunning the world’s biggest oil companies as drilling costs surge, major projects are delayed and energy prices stagnate. Shell, the second-largest oil company by market value, will report its lowest fourth-quarter profit since 2009 after The Hague-based explorer was socked with cost overruns on some of its most important new fields. Ben van Beurden, who took the helm at Shell at the start of the year, said Jan. 17, in Shell’s first profit-warning in a decade, that disruptions in Nigeria, weak refining margins and lower U.S. natural gas production brought down earnings.

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Jan 29, 2014 12:00 AM GMT

Investors are shunning the world’s biggest oil companies as drilling costs surge, major projects are delayed and energy prices stagnate.

Crude and natural gas producers from Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) to ConocoPhillips began issuing profit warnings three weeks ago as they tallied the extent of fourth-quarter disappointments. Shareholders have punished the stocks, making the energy sector the worst performer in the MSCI World Index this year, in anticipation of bleak earnings disclosures later this week.

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Big Oil Companies Struggle to Justify Soaring Project Costs

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By Daniel Gilbert and Justin Scheck: Jan. 28, 2014 11:00 p.m. ET

Chevron Corp., Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell PLC spent more than $120 billion in 2013 to boost their oil and gas output—about the same cost in today’s dollars as putting a man on the moon.

But the three oil giants have little to show for all their big spending. Oil and gas production are down despite combined capital expenses of a half-trillion dollars in the past five years. Each company is expected to report later this…

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Nigeria: Shell Commits to Polio Eradication in Delta

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Abuja — SHELL Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) has restated its commitment to eradicate health challenges in the Niger Delta where it mostly operates.

The firm has strengthened the delivery of a routine immunisation programme through clinic-based services in 27 health facilities and community based outreach activities in the region.

FULL ARTICLE

Shell’s lavish spending on quixotic drilling adventures

Screen Shot 2013-10-16 at 15.38.09Shell’s quest for new reserves has seen it pump billions into money-devouring plays such as its Athabasca Oil Sands Project in northern Alberta and the Kashagan oilfield, a deeply troubled project in Kazakhstan. It’s even tried deep water drilling in the high Arctic. That attempt ended when the stormy waters of the Chukchi Sea crippled its Kulluk drilling platform, forcing the company to pull up stakes. Investors can’t simply count on ever rising oil prices to justify Shell’s lavish spending on quixotic drilling adventures around the world.

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Why Turning a Buck Isn’t Easy Anymore for Oil’s Biggest Players

Former Chief Economist, CIBC World Markets

27 Jan 2014

Judging by pump prices, Canadian drivers might think oil companies were rolling in profits that only move higher. Lately, though, the big boys in the global oil industry are finding that earning a buck isn’t as easy as it used to be.

Royal Dutch Shell, for instance, just announced that fourth quarter earnings would fall woefully short of expectations. The Anglo-Dutch energy giant warned its quarterly profits will be down 70 percent from a year earlier. Full-year earnings, meanwhile, are expected to be a little more than half of what they were the previous year.

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Shell Said to Seek Buyers for $1 Billion Stake in Ho-Ho Pipeline

Screen Shot 2013-11-13 at 07.38.22Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) is seeking to sell a stake in its Houston-to-Houma crude oil pipeline, which Europe’s largest oil company recently reversed and renamed, people familiar with the matter said. Shell is working with Barclays Plc (BARC) to solicit offers for a stake of as much as $1 billion…  Shell on Jan. 17 warned fourth-quarter earnings fell to the lowest level since 2009 due to rising losses in the Americas and deteriorating refining markets.

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By Matthew Monks January 27, 2014

Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) is seeking to sell a stake in its Houston-to-Houma crude oil pipeline, which Europe’s largest oil company recently reversed and renamed, people familiar with the matter said.

Shell is working with Barclays Plc (BARC) to solicit offers for a stake of as much as $1 billion in the conduit, which is known as the Ho-Ho system and valued at about $3 billion in its entirety, said one of the people, asking not to identified because the matter is not public.

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MPs in Aberdeen to hear helicopter safety evidence

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MPs from the House of Commons transport select committee are visiting Aberdeen to take evidence on helicopter safety.

The inquiry was set up after last year’s Super Puma crash off Shetland which killed four people.

Since 2009, five serious incidents involving Super Puma helicopters offshore have seen 20 people lose their lives.

The transport committee is holding an open evidence session at Aberdeen University.

MPs will take evidence from helicopter operators and manufacturers – including Eurocopter who make the Super Puma.

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Brazil Says Shell Must Negotiate Encroaching Oil Reservoir

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Sabrina Lorenzi: Monday, January 27, 2014

RIO DE JANEIRO, Jan 27 (Reuters) – Brazil’s ANP oil regulator said Royal Dutch Shell needs to negotiate with the Brazilian government on an oil reservoir that exceeds the limits of the concession block it controls with France’s Total, according to an ANP document seen by Reuters on Monday. The oil reserve, located in Shell’s BM-S-54 block, encroaches on areas controlled by the Brazilian government that have not yet been auctioned.

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Ukraine’s cooperation with Shell expanded

27 January 2014

Ukraine’s agreement with international company Royal Dutch Shell remains inviolable, Prime Minister Mykola Azarov has reaffirmed in Davos. Moreover, according to him, cooperation with the largest international company will be expanded, the Information-Analytical Bulletin of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine informs.

Following the results of negotiations in Davos between Azarov and Jorma Ollila, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Royal Dutch Shell, it became known that the seventh largest company in the world can deal not only with shale gas production in Ukraine.

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BP Employees Outraged by Lack of Compensation

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Screen Shot 2013-12-18 at 10.04.21BP Employees, Outraged by Lack of Compensation, Warn Oil Spill Victims

Tuesday, 21 January 2014 09:41 By Dahr Jamail, Truthout 

Long-term employees accuse oil giant BP of greed, exploitation and lying about their pensions.

Earlier this month BP’s attempts to curb compensation payouts to those impacted by its 2010 Gulf of Mexico disaster failed after its appeal was rejected by a US court.

Dozens of people and businesses that have claims against the oil giant have told Truthout they are infuriated at the company’s ongoing attempts to avoid payments, and they are not alone.

Several long-term senior BP employees are incensed at what they believe is BP’s attempt to short-change them on their pensions.

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BP back in favour despite spill legacy, Russia doubts

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COMMENT RECEIVED:  In this article there is a comment from Peter Voser about a possible need for a rescue of BP by Shell following the Macondo disaster in 2010. Knowing that merger negotiations between Shell and BP also occurred more recently, one possible interpretation of the article is that BP’s own strategy might help Shell put its house in order, while Shell’s access to US licences might help BP. Both companies are currently targeted by investigations of manipulation of the price of Brent.

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* BP shares still down from day before U.S. oil spill

* But shares up two thirds from post-spill low

* BP reshaped, competitive on return on capital, delaying spill costs

* Still beset with litigation, and its Russian investment unproven

* Q4 results due Feb 4 against backdrop of rivals’ weak statements

By Andrew Callus

LONDON, Jan 26 (Reuters) – If you had spent 10 pounds on BP shares on April 19, 2010, you would have just nine pounds now, including dividends. A poor investment, however you cut it, but also a remarkable recovery.

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Dan Romasko Named President, CEO of Motiva Enterprises LLC

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HOUSTON – January 27, 2014 – Dan Romasko, former Executive Vice President of Operations for Tesoro Corporation, has been named President and CEO of Motiva Enterprises LLC.  He replaces Bob Pease, who has served with distinction for the past 5 years and will return to Shell, effective February 1.

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City awaits details after Shell shock

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 07.56.54After the shock update effectively publicised the firm’s headline figures for the final quarter of last year, this week the City will be looking for clues as to whether Shell’s shrinking bottom line is temporary or structural.; …the new boss appears keen to make changes at the notoriously bureaucratic company.

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by DOMINIC JEFF: 26 Jan 2014

OIL major Royal Dutch Shell is expected to reveal huge write-offs this week which investors hope will account for its recent profits warning.

After the shock update effectively publicised the firm’s headline figures for the final quarter of last year, this week the City will be looking for clues as to whether Shell’s shrinking bottom line is temporary or structural.

In its warning, Shell said that profits will almost halve to around $2.9 billion (£1.8bn). With previous market expectations of a $4bn haul, it will be the latest disappointment for shareholders after the firm’s earnings declined dramatically throughout 2013.

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Court Ruling Won’t Be Enough To Stop Arctic Drilling

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By Sean McLernon

Law360, New York (January 24, 2014, 7:54 PM ET) — A recent Ninth Circuit ruling rejecting a federal environmental analysis of Arctic drilling has been hailed by green groups as reason to halt energy extraction off the Alaskan coast, but attorneys say the decision is too narrow to stop oil and gas activities from moving forward…

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Shell set to round off bad year with disappointing fourth quarter profits

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By Daily Mail Reporter

Monday 27 January 2014

Shell is this week expected to round off a disappointing year with lacklustre fourth-quarter profits.

The Anglo-Dutch oil giant issued a profit warning earlier this month, saying it was likely to record a lower-than-expected £1.8billion profit for the final three months of the year.

That sets the company up for an annual underlying profit of £11.8billion, a long way below the £16.3billion it recorded in 2012.

New boss Ben van Beurden blamed a string of factors including maintenance shutdowns in particularly high margin businesses such as liquid natural gas and a general decline in oil prices.

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Shell profit warning merely a warm-up for what is coming

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Shell is fat, slow, and unresponsive to shareholders.

THE SUNDAY TIMES BUSINESS SECTION 26 JANUARY 2014

INSIDE THE CITY: BY DANNY FORTSON

Royal Dutch Shell

BEN VAN BEURDEN, the new boss of Royal Dutch Shell, issued a profit warning nine days ago.

It was, I expect, merely a warm-up for Thursday, when he will announce his first set of annual results.

Industry sources say Van Beurden has identified billions of dollars of assets to write off – thing like its French Guiana operation where it has drilled a series of dry holes.

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Natural Gas and Nagging Earthquake Fears

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By Sara Murphy

More evidence emerges from The Netherlands that natural gas extraction is contributing to increases in tremors around an Exxon Mobil/Shell joint venture.

The Dutch government is cutting production from Western Europe’s biggest gas field, operated by an ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM) / Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS-A) joint venture, by a quarter over the next three years.

This is one of those areas where a single big event could turn the public completely against fracking, and maybe even natural gas in general.

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Shareholder Shell distances itself from Oman bribes case

AFTER the rumpus over the exit of Royal Dutch Shell’s legal director on Wednesday, the oil giant’s media team was no doubt hoping for a quiet end to the week. Sadly, it wasn’t to be. Yesterday, Diary picked up reports in the Arab press about corruption at Shell’s Omani joint venture, Petroleum Development Oman (PDO).

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City Diary Edited by Harriet Dennys: Friday 24 January 2014. Page B4.

AFTER the rumpus over the exit of Royal Dutch Shell’s legal director on Wednesday, the oil giant’s media team was no doubt hoping for a quiet end to the week.

Sadly, it wasn’t to be. Yesterday, Diary picked up reports in the Arab press about corruption at Shell’s Omani joint venture, Petroleum Development Oman (PDO).

According to Reuters, the head of the tender committee at PDO, Juma AI Hinai, was this month sentenced to three years in jail and fined 600,000 rials (£938,000), after being found guilty of accepting a bribe from a local contractor.

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Santa Claus Could Be Sitting on Billions of Barrels of Oil

For several years now, Shell had hoped that the Alaskan Arctic would their ticket to growth that shareholders would appreciate. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been able to get its act together, and over $4 billion has been spent on wasted efforts. 

For peers like ExxonMobil  and Statoil , the Arctic Circle is the future, but they are both reaching outside of the United States. Hopefully, for their sake, the Kara and Barents Sea will be more friendly that the Chukchi has been to Shell.

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Energy giants battle to pump profits

Screen Shot 2013-11-13 at 07.38.22At 55, Van Beurden, who replaced Peter Voser earlier this month, is a 30-year veteran at Shell where his career has mainly been focused on managing downstream businesses such as refining and chemicals. This week, as he announces full-year earnings, City analysts expect him to unveil details of a potential $15bn to $30bn (£9.1bn to £18.1bn) garage sale… Shell has a reputation for gluttony when it comes to tackling giant energy projects, betting billions of dollars on strategic investments aimed at building reserves and capturing future demand decades in advance. Those days may be over.

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By 8:00PM GMT 25 Jan 2014

On the face of it, Royal Dutch Shell’s new chief executive, Ben van Beurden, and Bob Dudley, his counterpart at , are a world apart.

At 55, Van Beurden, who replaced Peter Voser earlier this month, is a 30-year veteran at Shell where his career has mainly been focused on managing downstream businesses such as refining and chemicals.

This week, as he announces full-year earnings, City analysts expect him to unveil details of a potential $15bn to $30bn (£9.1bn to £18.1bn) garage sale, signalling a new era of capital discipline and streamlining at the Anglo-Dutch supermajor.

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CFO Simon Henry: Just how many lives has this Shell fat cat got?

Simon Henry was CFO when the ship was set on its disastrous course of over-promise and under-delivery, beset by project delays and cost overruns, resulting in the recent profits warning and the dramatic advice just issued by Zacks Investment Research that Royal Dutch Shell Plc is “a risky bet that ordinary investors should exit.” He has had a hand on the helm throughout the long voyage, during the Sakhalin2 debacle, the Corrib Gas Corruption scandal and more recently, Shell’s Arctic ambitions hitting the rocks. As I have previously pointed out, he also had a starring role in the reserves scandal and managed to evade the flak on that occasion as well. Just how many lives has this Shell fat cat got?

By John Donovan

The role of RDS Chief Financial Officer, Simon Henry, in the instability that has overtaken Shell, thus far seems to have largely escaped scrutiny and blame?

He is the most senior remaining Royal Dutch Shell executive spanning the tenure of the last three top executives at Shell, Sir Philip Watts (dishonest bullying egomaniac), Jeroen van der Veer (dishonest and out of his depth) and Peter Voser (incompetent and ill-advised).

Simon Henry was CFO when the ship was set on its disastrous course of over-promise and under-delivery, bedeviled by project delays and cost overruns, resulting in the recent profits warning and the dramatic advice just issued by Zacks Investment Research that Royal Dutch Shell Plc is “a risky bet that ordinary investors should exit.”

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Royal Dutch Shell a risky bet that ordinary investors should exit

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 07.56.54On Jan 20, 2014, we downgraded Europe’s largest oil company Royal Dutch Shell plc to Underperform from Neutral. Our revised investment thesis is supported by a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell). Following Shell’s fourth-quarter profit warning, we see the integrated player as a risky bet that ordinary investors should exit.

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Royal Dutch Shell Down to Underperform – Analyst Blog

January 24, 2014

On Jan 20, 2014, we downgraded Europe’s largest oil company Royal Dutch Shell plc ( RDS.A ) to Underperform from Neutral. Our revised investment thesis is supported by a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).Why the Downgrade?Following Shell’s fourth-quarter profit warning, we see the integrated player as a risky bet that ordinary investors should exit.

Detailed Analysis

The Hague-based Shell has cautioned investors that hike in exploration costs, lower oil and gas output, along with weak performance by the company’s refining unit, will adversely impact its fourth quarter results.

We are also concerned about Shell’s relatively heavy downstream exposure, which leaves it less diversified than its integrated peers. As such, the group’s results remain greatly exposed to refining/marketing margins. Shell’s downstream operations have struggled recently due to weak demand for fuel, leading to lower returns in this segment.

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