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Shell backs plans to fire giant bullets into ground to reach geothermal energy

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  • Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 19.31.15HyperSciences has been awarded a $1 million grant from Shell
  • It has a patent on a new type of ram accelerator for geothermal energy
  • ‘Gun’ will repeatedly fire projectiles at 4,500mph (2 km/s) to blast holes
  • Company claims the technique is ten times faster than traditional drilling


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Pictured is a head-on view of the projectile HyperSciences will use to bore into the Earth’s crust

The answer to Earth’s energy crisis could lie a few thousand feet beneath the planet’s surface.

Here, scientists are hoping a nearly limitless amount of geothermal power will provide enough energy to replace Earth’s rapidly depleting fossil fuel resources.

But harnessing this renewable energy source is currently a slow and expensive process, with costs ranging from $5 million to $20 million.

Now one company believes it has a solution; repeatedly firing projectiles at 4,500mph (2 km/s) to blast deep holes in the ground. 

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Shell’s Positioning For Better Russia And Iran Relations Is Part Of Its Global Gas Strategy

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Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 22.09.48Zoltan Ban: 23 July 2015


  • Shell has been showing long-term interest in moving more towards natural gas for a while, with natural gas production surpassing its oil production in 2013.
  • Aside from its major acquisition of BG group, it is forming an alliance with Gazprom and is looking to be among the first in Iran.
  • The overall big picture suggests that Shell is giving up on North American shale gas and focusing on being a major player in conventional gas and LNG.

Before Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) acquired BG Group, it was already a major player in the gas industry. Its upstream production has been more than half natural gas since 2013 already. It is constantly looking to expand its downstream presence, with plans such as the ethylene plant it wants to build in Pennsylvania, in order to take advantage of the cheap gas in the North-Eastern part of the United States. It also has a gas to liquids plant in Qatar, which is the world’s biggest. It should be no surprise then to see Shell actively involved in setting up a tighter partnership with both Russia and Iran.

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Shell to drop ‘Oil’ from its name? Um, no.

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By Tony Dokoupil: 15 July 2015

It seemed like a hopeful sign of the times: News that Shell Oil might soon drop the word “oil” from its name. British Petroleum made a similar move not long ago, rechristening itself as BP, a company with a vision “beyond petroleum.”

But alas, Shell is not changing its name. “We are not,” Shell spokesperson Curtis Smith told msnbc in a brief statement, the company’s first definitive denial of the rumor.   

As if to prove the point, Shell Oil—the U.S. unit of Royal Dutch Shell, Europe’s biggest oil company—is right now amassing a multi-billion dollar team in Alaska. In the days to come, it plans to drill in the icy waters offshore, opening the largest untapped oil reserve on the planet. While in the area, it will not be putting up solar panels and praying to the sun gods.

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Shell U.S. Unit May Drop ‘Oil’ From Name in Sign of Times

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by Gerrit De Vynck: 9 July 2015

The U.S. unit of Royal Dutch Shell Plc may soon drop the word “oil” from its name in a move that would symbolize its transition to other sources of energy, an executive said.

With Shell Oil Co.’s parent focusing more on natural gas and looking at other energy alternatives, the oil in the name “is a little old-fashioned, I’d say, and at one point we’ll probably do something about that,” Marvin Odum, director of the company’s upstream Americas business, said Thursday at the Toronto Global Forum.

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Royal Dutch Shell Seeks Funding For Carbon Capture Project

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By: MICHEAL KAUFMAN: Jun 29, 2015 

Global warming concerns have been receiving more and more media attention, as major oil companies also plan to address the issue, considering its potentially adverse effect on the environment.

Goldeneye, an abandoned offshore natural gas production platform that is connected to the Scottish coast via a 100 kilometer long pipeline, could soon be used to deposit carbon dioxide well below the Earth’s surface. Once operated by Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A), the project could become the world’s first carbon capture and storage (CCS) project that uses a power station, fuelled by natural gas. The European energy major is looking to the UK government to release one billion GBP in funds for the company to develop the project, the Financial Times has reported.

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Malcolm Brinded still connected with Shell

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Screen Shot 2015-06-27 at 12.55.27Brinded speaks out on sustainable and accessible energy

Written by  OE Staff: Friday 26 June 2015

Speaking this week as the 2015 recipient of the Energy Institute (EI)’s Cadman Award, Malcolm Brinded, chairman of Shell Foundation, has called for increased focus on breakthrough technology and business innovations to respond to the challenges of international development, climate change and urbanization – while meeting the world’s growing demand for energy.

“Today five billion people consume less than one third of the world’s energy, whilst two billion of us consume more than two thirds,” said Brinded, while addressing 180 energy professionals in London. “Two billion poor are completely without reliable and affordable energy. And 1.2 billion live entirely without electricity.”

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Shell and The Science Museum’s toxic relationship has just been exposed

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Screen Shot 2015-05-18 at 09.56.22The true nature of big oil sponsorships was exposed last week, after it was discovered that Shell had sought to influence the content of the climate change exhibition “Atmosphere”, which it sponsors at the Science Museum.

Emails obtained via Freedom of Information requests show how the company positioned its own staff as advisors: “Regarding the gallery update, can I check whether you have touched base with David Hone to see if he would like to participate in the content refresh?” read one email from May last year.

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Shell’s Former Chairman Made a Startling Comment About Climate Change

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Chris Matthews/Fortune

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Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 21.29.09Sir Mark Moody-Stuart calls for divestment in fossil-fuel companies

When the oilmen themselves are arguing for stronger action to fight climate change, it’s probably time to start acting.

Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, the former chairman of oil giant Royal Dutch Shell, said that the lack of progress the world has made on climate change is, “distressing,” and that it was “rational” for investors to start divesting their money from companies that extract fossil fuels, according to a report in The Guardian.

According to the paper, “His striking remarks are the most supportive of divestment made by any senior figure in the fossil fuel business.”

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Shell’s former chair calls fossil fuel divestment ‘rational’

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Shell’s former chair calls fossil fuel divestment ‘rational’

By Steve Hargreaves: 4 June 2015

The former chairman of Royal Dutch Shell said selling oil stocks is a “rational” response to the failure of the oil industry to take meaningful action on climate change.

He is the latest to lend support to the growing campaign for investors to dump shares of fossil fuel companies.

“Divestment is a rational approach,” Mark Moody-Stuart was quoted by the Guardian as saying during a recent dinner in London. “If you think your money can be used somewhere else, you should switch it. Selective divestment or portfolio-switching is actually what investors should be doing.”

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Fossil fuel divestment is rational, says former Shell chairman

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Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 12.24.56Fossil fuel divestment is rational, says former Shell chairman

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European Big Oil Opens Schism on Climate With U.S. Rivals

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Article by Tara Patel and Javier Blas published 1 June 2015 by 

The heads of Europe’s largest oil and gas companies joined together for the first time to call for governments to agree on carbon pricing at a United Nations climate summit, opening a schism with their American rivals.

“It’s clear that the subject isn’t viewed in the same way on both sides of the Atlantic,” Total SA Chief Executive Officer Patrick Pouyanne, one of the signatories, said on Monday at a press conference in Paris. “We are working with those who come forward.”

The banding together on climate-change policy by BP Plc, Eni SpA, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Statoil ASA, Total and BG Group Plc is unprecedented and follows comments by some of their CEOs calling for the industry to be part of the debate on a deal limiting greenhouse gases. It also highlights division within the sector as the top American companies, Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp., decided to stay out of the European initiative.

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Did Royal Dutch Shell Try To Manipulate Science Museum Climate Program?

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By: MICHEAL KAUFMANPublished: Jun 1, 2015

According to internal documents seen by The Guardian, questions are raised over whether Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A) attempted to steer the course of the presentation of a climate change program that the oil giant was sponsoring at the Science Museum in London. The company questioned the museum over a section of the project that provides non-governmental organizations (NGOs) a chance to highlight issues that are of concern to them pertaining to Shell’s operations.

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Royal Dutch Shell, BP plc Seek UN Support Over Carbon Pricing

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By: MICHEAL KAUFMAN: Published: Jun 1, 2015

Major oil exploration and production companies in Europe are coming together to seek the United Nations’ support for the first time, in putting forward a plan that will apply brakes to global warming.

As pressure mounts on oil companies over concerns of climate change, company executives have moved to hold direct talks with government officials ahead of a UN meeting, scheduled to take place in December this year in Paris, the Financial Times (FT) reported on Sunday.

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Shell Has Got Its Climate Policy Wrong: Economist Nick Stern

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By: MICHEAL KAUFMANPublished: May 29, 2015 

At the Guardian Business debate on divestment in Kings Place, London, prominent Economist Nick Stern said that Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A) wants investors to bet against the world taking action on climate change. He said that the oil giant and other hydrocarbon companies were pulling in the wrong direction, on the progress that will be made in renewable technology in the coming two-three decades.

He was of the view that despite hydrocarbon companies like Shell saying that the policies that will keep global warming to 2C will not be adhered to, they had to tell those energy companies that their forecasts were wrong. He said that they had to try to get the people to make sure that those policies will be implemented.

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Shell CEO backs fossil fuels, climate change warnings -Guardian

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Screen Shot 2015-05-22 at 21.49.34Markets | Fri May 22, 2015 7:35pm EDT

Shell CEO backs fossil fuels, climate change warnings -Guardian

The world’s fossil fuel reserves cannot be burned unless some way is found to capture their carbon emissions, Royal Dutch Shell Plc Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden said on Friday.

In an interview published in Britain’s Guardian newspaper, Van Beurden forecast that global energy use would produce “zero carbon” by the end of the century, and that his group would get a “very large segment” of its earnings from renewable power.

The interview came a day after Van Beurden slammed as a “red herring” calls to divest from energy companies as part of the fight against climate change, in particular the “Keep it in the Ground” campaign led by the Guardian.

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Shell boss endorses warnings about fossil fuels and climate change

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Ben van Beurden, chief executive of Shell, acknowledges that we cannot burn all the world’s fossil fuel reserves without risking a breach of the 2C limit needed to prevent catastrophic climate change. Photograph: Bloomberg/Getty

Terry Macalister and Damian CarringtonFriday 22 May 2015 

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Shell, climate change and a question of reality

Screen Shot 2015-05-18 at 09.56.22By John Donovan

Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden is said to have lambasted fossil fuel critics at the Shell AGM yesterday, accusing them of ignoring reality.

Two days earlier, Terry Macalister of The Guardian, who has always been scrupulously fair in his comments and reporting in relation to Shell, seemed to suggest that it is Mr Van Beurden who is having a problem in relation to the reality of climate change. 

Extract from his excellent article “The real story behind Shell’s climate change rhetoric”

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Shell Lobbied EU To Favour Gas Over Renewables – The Guardian

Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 12.33.30Article by Joshua Warner published Monday 27April 2015 by Alliance News

PRESS: Shell Lobbied EU To Favour Gas Over Renewables – The Guardian

LONDON (Alliance News) – Royal Dutch Shell PLC successfully lobbied to undermine European renewable energy targets, in favour of the expanded use of gas, ahead of a key agreement on emissions cuts reached in October last year, according to newly released documents obtained by The Guardian newspaper.

Citing documents it received under the Freedom of Information Act, the newspaper said Shell began lobbying the then European Commission president, Jose Manuel Barroso, since 2011 to scrap the European Union’s formula for linking carbon-cutting goals with binding renewable energy laws.

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Guardian Media Group to divest its £800m fund from fossil fuels

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From an article by Damian Carrington  published Wednesday 1 April 2015  by The Guardian newspaper

Guardian Media Group to divest its £800m fund from fossil fuels

The Guardian Media Group (GMG) is to sell all the fossil fuel assets in its investment fund of over £800m, making it the largest yet known to pull out of coal, oil and gas companies.

The decision was justified on both financial and ethical grounds…


Why The Oil Price Could Fall Even Further

Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 08.45.23From an article by Prabhat Sakya published 24 March 2015 by The Motley Fool under the headline:

BP plc And Royal Dutch Shell plc: Why The Oil Price Could Fall Even Further

The oil price has fallen dramatically since last summer. This has meant difficult times for the oil producers, including companies such as BP and Royal Dutch Shell.

…people have been buying more fuel-efficient cars, and there has been huge investment in technologies such as hybrid, electric and fuel cell vehicles.

So supply has been steadily increasing, and demand has been falling, and the world now has too much oil. Oil prices have begun a downtrend; and I don’t think that this fall will just last a few months, before bouncing back.

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The credibility of Royal Dutch Shell oil demand forecasts

By John Donovan

Forecasts of future oil demand and oil prices made by Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden have been widely reported.

See syndicated Reuters article.

He is not exactly a disinterested independent observer, as his personal income and the well-being and profitability of the oil company he leads, depends on these issues.

Some might consider his forecasts to be wishful thinking.

It is an appropriate moment to look back on directly related forecasts made 7 years ago by one of his predecessors.

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Oil Prices Start Week in Negative Territory

Screen Shot 2015-01-13 at 09.23.28From an article by Georgi Kantchev published by the Wall Street Journal 19 Jan 2015 unde the headline:

“Oil Prices Start Week in Negative Territory”


LONDON—Oil prices started the week in negative territory on expectations that a sustained recovery is still a long way off. …analysts said they see little evidence that the combination of oversupply and sluggish demand that has pummeled prices since last summer is abating. “Despite a nearly 60% fall in oil prices since mid-2014, oil market balances remain weak, with prospects of a recovery looking dim until the latter months of 2015…”


From an article by Ladane Nasseri published by Bloomberg on 19 Jan 2015 under the headline: 

“Iran Blames Oil-Price Plunge for Delay in Saudi Visit”


A meeting between the foreign ministers of OPEC’s Iran and Saudi Arabia was delayed in part due to discord over falling crude prices, said Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Iran’s deputy foreign minister for Arab and African affairs.

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Oil prices continued their collapse on Friday

Screen Shot 2014-12-13 at 09.19.40Oil prices continued their collapse on Friday… The new rout began Friday morning… Gas prices will continue to be in a free fall as long as crude oil is searching for a bottom,” the AAA motor club reported on Friday.

From an article published by The New York Times on page B1 of the New York edition dated 13 December 2014

Oil Prices Fall Again, and Stocks Follow Suit


Oil prices continued their collapse on Friday as evidence mounted that the frenzy of American oil production would continue well into 2015 even while growth in global demand was declining.

The global benchmark for crude approached $60 a barrel — down more than 3 percent on the day and roughly 45 percent since the summer. And the American benchmark continued its free fall as well, to below $58 a barrel, down around 4 percent. A day earlier, it sagged below $60 a barrel in the United States for the first time since 2009.

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Published: Dec 10, 2014 at 10:02 am EST

Exxon Mobil Corporation(NYSE:XOM) revealed its annual energy outlook yesterday and maintained its stance despite the fact that crude price has declined 40% since its peak in late-June. This has resulted in energy companies slashing down their capital spending plans and slowing down growth in production. Furthermore, countries that have heavily relied on revenue generated by exporting crude oil have also come under immense pressure due to significant decline in proceeds generated from the exports.

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How Church’s Leaning Toward Renewable Energy Will Affect BP and Shell

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Published: Dec 5, 2014 at 10:29 am EST

Companies engaged in the oil businesses are increasingly in the limelight and under pressure to adopt techniques that will assure minimum carbon emissions into the environment. In a recent development, the Church of England (COE) has urged BP plc. (ADR) (NYSE:BP) and Royal Dutch Shell plc. (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A) to cut carbon emission levels and invest more in renewable energy. The COE, along with church commissioners, that manage a $9.5 billion investment portfolio, and the Church of England’s pension board that manages a $2.34 billion fund, both plan to file shareholder resolutions on climatic change in the next four weeks.

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Shell’s Soccer Field Greenwash

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 09.22.43From a Forbes article by Alex Epstein: Shell’s “Footstep-Powered” Soccer Field Will Never Work

Oil giant Shell claims in its #makethefuture campaign that it is promoting renewable energy and helping a poor community in Brazil by bringing it “the world’s first football pitch powered by footsteps.” It has told 1.6 million YouTube viewers and counting that this an idea “that could change the world.”

Don’t believe it.


Declining coal production in the U.S.

From a Regular Contributor

The following link is about the approaching end of cheap and easy coal from the surface mines in the Western part of the US, specifically Wyoming. These reserves are approaching depletion. That is good for the planet but not necessarily good for electricity consumers in the US, China, and Europe.

The end of cheap easy coal? – Mountain Town News

However, the cost of renewable energy keeps dropping and is now almost cost competitive with coal, given that the price per ton of coal has doubled in the last 10 years.

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‘Solar’ jet fuel made out of thin air

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29Extract from a Chemistry World article by Jon Cartwright published 2 May 2014

The dream of producing hydrocarbon fuels from carbon dioxide and sunlight is one step closer thanks to chemists in Europe who have made jet fuel from scratch in a solar reactor for the first time. Although the chemists only produced enough kerosene to fill a glass jar, they believe a full-scale solar concentrator could produce 20,000 litres of jet fuel a day.

Various methods have been tried to effectively remove oxygen from syngas, but the one settled on by the Solar-Jet team was the use of cerium oxide, or ceria.

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Oil giant says profits are assured

Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 00.23.56Extracts from an article published by Eco-Business 28 May 2014

Shell, the world’s largest oil company, believes that governments will not damage its business by taking rapid action on climate change, and says all its oil reserves will be needed and sold at a profit.

In a robust reply to a recent report by the Carbon Tracker Initiative, Shell explains the company reasoning for investing in tar sands and other high cost and difficult-to-extract oil reserves. It says that an ever-expanding global economy, fuelled by population growth and great prosperity, will need more and more oil and gas at least until 2050. This will support high prices.

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BT, Shell and corporates call for trillion tonnes of carbon to stay in the ground

Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 00.23.56Extract from an article published Tuesday 8 April 2014 by The Guardian newspaper

Unilever, Shell, BT, and EDF Energy are among 70 leading companies today calling on governments across the globe to step up efforts to tackle climate change.

The companies, which have a combined turnover of $90bn, say the world needs a “rapid and focused response” to the threat of rising global carbon emissions and the “disruptive climate impacts” associated with their growth.


Showa Shell Solar Unit to Invest 13 Billion Yen in Panel Plant

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By Chisaki Watanabe Dec 19, 2013 7:13 AM GMT

Solar Frontier K.K., a unit of Japan’s Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K. (5002), will invest 13 billion yen ($125 million) to build a solar panel plant north of Tokyo.

The plant in Miyagi prefecture will have annual production capacity of 150 megawatts and will begin operating by March 2015, the company said in a statement today.

Solar Frontier’s largest plant, which can produce 900 megawatts per year, is in the southwestern prefecture of Miyazaki. The company makes panels using copper, indium, gallium and selenium, known as CIGS.

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