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Saudi-Iran tensions threaten $5.4bn Japanese refinery merger

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  • MAYUMI NEGISHI
  • The Wall Street Journal
  • 12:00AM July 1, 2016

The battle for hegemony in the Middle East between Saudi Arabia and Iran threatens to up-end a $US4 billion ($5.4bn) merger in Japan.

The family of the late founder of Idemitsu Kosan is opposing a planned merger between the oil refiner — Japan’s second-largest behind JX — and Showa Shell Sekiyu, its smaller rival. Idemitsu has maintained close ties with Iran since the 1950s while Showa Shell is 15 per cent owned by Saudi Arabia’s state-owned Saudi Arabian Oil Co, known as Aramco.

The Idemitsu family said a merger would be “inappropriate” given the growing tensions between the two countries. The two Persian Gulf nations, which belong to rival sects of Islam, are jockeying for political influence in the region and have recently clashed over the question of a cap on crude output.

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Shell CEO Urges European Governments to Keep Economy Steady After Brexit

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Ben Van Beurden, chief executive officer of Royal Dutch Shell PLC, is seen here in Perth, Australia in April 2016. Mr. Van Beurden urged Europe’s governments to keep the economy steady despite the turbulence created by the U.K.’s referendum. PHOTO: AARON BUNCH/BLOOMBERG NEWS

By SARAH KENT: June 30, 2016 5:49 a.m. ET

Speaking at a conference in London, Ben Van Beurden emphasized the benefits of a single market and free movement of people. “I hope that the future relationship between the U.K. and the rest of Europe will continue to provide conditions for economic growth,” he said.

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Shell, Total look to expand terminals and power plants in new markets

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Written by Reporter – 13/06/2016 6:00 am

Oil majors Shell and Total are said to be considering building terminals and power plants in new markets.

The move comes after companies have invested billions in plants to help produce liquefied natural gas (LNG) in place such as the US and Australia.

Laurent Vivier, president for the gas division of Total, said the company was ready to go downstream “as much as it takes” to unlock gas demand.

He said: “We need to be present in downstream ourselves, to create demand and unlock bottlenecks along the chain including regasification, pipeline and power plants.”

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Shell to exit up to 10 countries after BG deal

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LONDON | BY RON BOUSSO AND KAROLIN SCHAPS: Tue Jun 7, 2016

Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) will exit oil and gas operations in up to 10 countries in a drive to deepen cost cuts and narrow its focus following its $54 billion acquisition of BG Group.

Presenting its strategy following the close of that deal in February, the Anglo-Dutch company outlined plans to target annual spending of $25 billion to $30 billion until the end of the decade.

It lowered its planned 2016 capex to $29 billion in a third cut from an initial $35 billion.

Shell also raised its target for savings from the integration of BG to $4.5 billion, up $1 billion from previous guidance.

Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden hopes the new cuts will help boost Shell’s shares, which have underperformed rivals since the BG deal was announced in April 2015.

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Can This Troubled LNG Project Still Deliver for Chevron, ExxonMobil, and Royal Dutch Shell?

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By Jay Yao: Jun 4, 2016

Australia’s Gorgon LNG is one of the largest liquefied natural gas projects in the world. When complete, the Gorgon is expected to produce 15.6 million metric tons of LNG a year and last for 40 years. For Australia, the Gorgon was supposed to add hundreds of billions of dollars to Australia’s GDP and employ thousands of people. For the companies that invested, Gorgon was supposed to be one of the cornerstones of their LNG portfolios and deliver long-lasting shareholder value.

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Shell News Stories from Australia

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Angela Macdonald-SmithEnergy Reporter: June 6, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-05-21 at 10.18.28Shell Australia chairman points to LNG as costly option for NSW, Vic gas

NSW and Victoria may have to consider importing LNG from Queensland or Papua New Guinea if the states don’t act to get onshore gas out of the ground, even though it would be a costly solution to the current stalemate, Shell Australia chairman Andrew Smith has suggested.

Mr Smith told the APPEA oil and gas industry conference in Brisbane on Monday that the time has come to “think creatively” about how best to serve local gas customers to ensure they have adequate and reliable supplies.

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Doubts about $3bn Shell-Woodside block trade

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Bridget CarterMergers and Acquisitions Editor, Sydney

Gretchen FriemannMergers & Acquisitions Editor, Sydney

There was fresh talk in the market last week that a $3 billion block trade by Shell selling out of Woodside Petroleum could be imminent.

However, there were a number of analysts who dismissed the speculation, which they said would have been largely fuelled by the recent rise in the oil price.

They said a more likely deal was an exit by Spark Infrastructure from the $6bn Duet Group, and it could happen sooner rather than later.

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Transportation emerges as new hope for LNG demand growth

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Angela Macdonald-SmithEnergy Reporter: 29 May 2016

A move to cleaner transportation fuels could mop up the surplus in the global liquefied natural gas market more quickly than anticipated and open up a new growth market for producers such as Woodside Petroleum.

Woodside is following major Royal Dutch Shell in positioning itself to benefit from increased use of gas in road transport and shipping.

Demand for LNG from the transport sector could reach 24.4 million tonnes a year by 2020, representing a 7 per cent rise from estimated global demand, according to new findings from Bernstein Research.

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Shell’s brutal and unfair approach to reducing staff numbers

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UPDATED WITH MORE COMMENTS

BY “FRUSTRATEDATSHELL”

Interested to know if any current Shell employees have picked up on the unfair approach to the current reorganisation.

Management in Netherlands are seeking RFA’s and operating to a different timeline to the UK and Australia, with Australia being able to steam ahead with their reorg plans as they do not have the same constraints. So much so, that impacted employees are being asked to second guess whether they need to apply for jobs in their base countries or to stick tight and see out the brutal and unfair approach to reducing staff numbers in their current host countries.

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Shell sees slower roll-out of floating LNG

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Mr Henry said Prelude “remains on track to deliver some material cash flow in 2018,” signalling the venture still has some way until start-up.

Angela Macdonald-Smith: Energy Reporter:May 5, 2016

Royal Dutch Shell acknowledges the roll-out of its floating LNG technology will occur much more slowly than anticipated a few years ago, leaving its ground-breaking Prelude venture in WA as potentially its sole FLNG venture for several years.

Shell had targeted a conveyor belt of huge FLNG vessels running of the production line in South Korea, being deployed at remote gas fields worldwide, with several in waters around Asia.

But three projects that could have used five new FLNG vessels have been halted in their tracks, leaving the $US12 billion Prelude venture Shell’s only one for the forseeable future. FLNG ventures planned by other companies in Australia have also fallen foul to cost and price issues.

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Samsung Heavy loses $4.6-billion FLNG order from Shell on oil drop

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Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 13.50.03By KYUNGHEE PARK on 4/28/2016

SUNGNAM, South Korea (Bloomberg) — Samsung Heavy Industries Co., the world’s third-largest shipbuilder, said an order to build three floating LNG production facilities was canceled after the energy development project was scrapped amid a plunge in oil prices.

The contract, valued at 5.27 trillion won ($4.6 billion), from Royal Dutch Shell was voided because of the current difficult market conditions, the Sungnam, South Korea-based company said in a regulatory filing Thursday. The shipbuilder won the deal in June on the condition that the project will start only after the client is ready to proceed.

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Shell starts jobs consultation with Australian employees

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Oil major Shell said it has begun discussions with staff in Australia about job losses as part of plans to cut 10,000 roles globally.

The company previously announced the move following the merger with BG Group announced last year.

A spokesman for the company said: “Shell last week commenced conversations with employees about business efficiency and staffing levels – as a result of combining it with the previously BG-owned OGC – a process that will lead to job reductions.”

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Shell starts staff cut discussions with employees in Australia

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Business | Wed Apr 27, 2016 

Shell (RDSa.L) has started discussions with employees in Australia about job reductions, the company said on Wednesday, as part of plans to cut 10,300 jobs worldwide to lower costs.

“Shell last week commenced conversations with employees about business efficiency and staffing levels – as a result of combining it with the previously BG-owned QGC – a process that will lead to job reductions,” a spokesman said.

Shell is in the process of integrating assets it acquired as part of its $50 billion (£34.2 billion) takeover of gas producer BG Group, including BG’s Australian subsidiary QGC.

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Shell to axe jobs as cost-cuts hit home

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Shell last week informed local staff that it was starting a round of job cuts, with a large portion of workers within the company asked to re-apply for their current positions.

While no fixed target has been set, it is estimated that about 250 jobs around Australia are likely to go as a result of the changes.

The round of job cuts follows Shell’s recent takeover last year of BG Group. The redundancies will remove many of the overlapping roles inherited through the takeover.

Shell had already flagged that it would axe about 2800 jobs worldwide as a result of the BG takeover, as well as a further 7000 around the globe as part of its response to the plunge in oil and gas prices.

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Multinationals already working the angles on ‘Google Tax’

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“We are aware of taxpayers seeking to use artificial and contrived interim arrangements with the sole aim of avoiding a potential MAAL liability from January 1, 2016,” the ATO said in a taxpayer alert.

In 2014 Shell Australia paid $534 million in finance costs on $12.7 billion of debt owed to offshore Shell companies. But its submission to the Senate tax inquiry showed that while it paid that $169 million interest to a Bermuda associate, the biggest cost was $260.7 million paid to a Shell company in Luxembourg for cross-currency interest rate swap costs.

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Shell Australia chairman Smith urges LNG industry to drop ego and collaborate

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Angela Macdonald-SmithEnergy Reporter: 15 April 2016

Shell Australia chairman Andrew Smith is set to call on LNG industry leaders to drop their egos and get serious about collaboration to reduce costs, deliver better returns and improve competitiveness.

“We must put collaboration ahead of our industry’s natural desire to immortalise our own activities in concrete and steel,” Mr Smith will tell the LNG18 conference in Perth on Friday.

“Australia’s LNG industry will deliver greater economic value and better international competitiveness when we get better at the sharing of infrastructure on commercial terms.”

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Musings about the OPL 245 Shell/ENI corruption scandal and the sinking confidence in Prelude

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I would have thought that Simon Henry’s position as CFO should now be untenable, in view of the apparent lack of effective financial governance in Nigeria while he was CFO. 

By John Donovan

A large number of press articles have appeared recently mentioning Ben van Beurden. 

Since these articles are presumably fed to the press by Shell’s PR team, and Shell is not a one-man company, I checked to see whether other Shell directors have appeared recently in press releases.

The results are somewhat curious. For example, searching for Matthias Bichsel on Google News shows that articles were published about him at least weekly until October last year, but the articles then stopped abruptly. References to Simon Henry seem to have dried up a few weeks ago – until mid-March there were articles on Henry on an almost daily basis, but recently there has been nothing. Harry Brekelmans seems to have had a low profile since his appointment, so it is harder to see whether any change has occurred. Andy Brown has almost as many press articles as Ben van Beurden. 

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Enthusiasm cools for Prelude FLNG

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Chief executive Ben van Beurden said Prelude, Shell’s first attempt at FLNG, should generate “real material cash” in 2018.

But he steered clear of disclosing the construction progress and when the floater would leave its South Korean shipyard for the Browse Basin.

The gas world is watching Prelude’s progress, not least the Woodside Petroleum-led Browse joint venture (which includes Shell) which wants to use FLNG as the development option but is pondering technological advances beyond what Prelude is designed to achieve.

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Shell chief Ben van Beurden backs FLNG program

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  • THE AUSTRALIAN
  • APRIL 13, 2016 12:00AM

Matt ChambersResources reporter: Melbourne

Paul GarveyResources reporter: Perth

Shell chief Ben van Beurden has defended the company’s floating LNG program after the shelving of the Browse LNG project in ­Western Australia and calls from joint-venture partner Woodside Petroleum for Shell to use more advanced FLNG technology to ­reduce costs at the giant gasfields.

Shell is pioneering the use of floating LNG (FLNG) through the $US15 billion ($19.6bn) Prelude project, where the world’s largest vessel is being built to process gas from the Prelude field in the Browse basin.

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Angela Macdonald-Smith: Energy Reporter

Shell’s global chief executive Ben van Beurden has pointed to a “broad industrial logic” for the Gladstone liquefied natural gas ventures to find ways to work together more closely, signalling a potential restructuring ahead as the oil major seeks to commercialise its Arrow gas resource.

Mr van Beurden said Shell, which recently acquired the Queensland Curtis LNG project as part of its $70 billion takeover of BG Group, was “absolutely convinced” the group would find a way of developing Arrow gas, which is jointly owned by PetroChina.

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Shell to Chevron Awaiting Demand From LNG Market in `Pause Mode’

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James PatonRebecca Keenan and Dan Murtaugh: April 12, 2016

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The over-supplied LNG market is in hiatus as energy giants from Chevron Corp. to Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Woodside Petroleum Corp. await a surge of demand from countries seeking access to energy.

Liquefied natural gas producers are in “pause mode” as low prices have stalled development of new projects, Woodside Chief Executive Officer Peter Coleman said today at the LNG18 conference in Perth. That respite means that coming years demand will exceed supply, causing prices to rise back to higher levels, Shell CEO Ben Van Beurden said.

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Gas industry needs to work harder, innovate: Shell boss

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Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 10.34.57Peter Klinger – The West Australian on April 12, 2016

Royal Dutch Shell chief executive Ben van Beurden will call for his industry to work harder at cutting costs to make sure the gas sector remains competitive with coal and the fast-growing renewable energy space.

Mr van Beurden, one of the biggest names to address the LNG18 conference in Perth, is expected to tell more than 2000 delegates today his industry needs to constantly innovate, from upstream to downstream activities such as shipping and regasification.

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Delays slow Prelude’s sail-away

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Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 10.34.57Peter Klinger – The West Australian on April 12, 2016

Royal Dutch Shell’s floating LNG prototype is thought to be two years behind its original schedule, demonstrating the complexity of a new processing module the energy sector hopes will deliver the next generation of liquefaction production.

Prelude’s progress will be a topic of discussion at the LNG18 conference, which kicks off in Perth today and includes sector heavyweights such as Shell chief executive Ben van Beurden.

Shell has never revealed the timetable or budget for Prelude, based on a giant processing vessel built in South Korea to be towed to its namesake gas field off the Kimberley. The latest guidance from Shell is for “material cash in 2018” though that timetable could be challenged.

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GE starts production on Shell’s Prelude risers, must withstand a 1-in-10,000-year cyclonic event

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Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 08.47.47Written by Rita Brown – 11/04/2016 7:38 am

GE Oil & Gas today confirmed it had started production on four high pressure, high temperature dynamic flexible risers destined for Shell’s Prelude, the world’s largest offshore floating facility.

The firm is building them to survive a 1-in-10,000-year cyclonic event, according to the contract spec.

GE will complete the work at its facility in Newcastle, UK, where it has invested more than $21million to expand its production carousel capacity to accommodate the giant kit. They must also be able to withstand high pressures, high operating temperatures, the potential for cold shut-downs and rapid depressurisation.

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Floating LNG hopes are deflated by Browse, Abadi decisions

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Angela Macdonald-Smith: 28 March 2016

Questions are being asked about whether floating LNG technology will live up to its hype after last week’s decision by Woodside Petroleum’s Browse gas venture to freeze work was followed by the axing of a floating design for the Abadi gas field in Indonesia.

The decisions are seen as major setbacks for the innovative technology that was expected to revolutionise the industry by allowing remote offshore gas fields to be developed more cheaply and with less environmental impact.

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ABB wins five-year Shell contract for Prelude FLNG

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Stuart McKinnon – The West Australian on March 24, 2016

The Malaga factory of Swiss multinational engineering giant ABB will be the focal point for a five-year contract to provide services and equipment to Shell’s Prelude floating LNG facility off the Kimberley coast.

The Shell order includes the delivery of motors, generators, variable speed drives and low-voltage switchgear and guarantees service and lifecycle management of the electrical equipment as well as service and support for motors from third-party vendors.

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Australian Energy Giant Woodside Delays Large Offshore L.N.G. Project

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By STANLEY REED: A version of this article appears in print on March 24, 2016, on page B2 of the New York edition

Woodside Petroleum and its partners, including the energy giants Royal Dutch Shell and BP, have decided to delay indefinitely the development of a huge liquefied natural gas project off Western Australia, the company said on Wednesday.

The decision to postpone the project, called Browse, comes as L.N.G. prices in Asia have fallen by around two-thirds since 2014. The slump is attributed to a supply glut set off largely by a building boom and by lower-than-expected demand from major customers like China.

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Where does the cancellation of Browse and Masela leave Prelude?

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Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 12.53.14From a Regular Contributor

Cancellation of both the Browse and Masela FLNG developments on the same day suggests that the issues about which Bill Campbell has warned may finally have won the day. 

If so, this is a huge climbdown for Shell, with several billion dollars in probable write-offs. 

It’s perhaps not surprising, given the plethora of warnings from technical sources that there were serious risks involved. 

Could Prelude be next to be axed? Parking a multi-billion dollar vessel in cyclone alley for 20 years never seemed like the most appropriate use of the pension funds invested in Shell…

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One Floating LNG Dream Sinks As Another Gets Ready To Float

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One Floating LNG Dream Sinks As Another Gets Ready To Float

Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 10.34.57Unfortunately for Shell it formally committed to the Prelude development in May, 2011, a time when oil was selling for around $120 a barrel, three-times the current price of around $41/bbl.

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By Tim Treadgold: March 23, 2016

No-one blinked and share prices barely fluttered when a $40 billion plan by Australia’s Woodside Petroleum ngIf: ticker to develop a floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) project was torpedoed earlier today.

However, the knock-on consequences of sinking the Browse project will be felt most acutely at Europe’s biggest oil company, Royal Dutch Shell ngIf: ticker .

The immediate impact on Shell is that it has a 27% interest in the Woodside-led Browse LNG project, but it is also nearing completion of the world’s biggest floating LNG barge, the $12.6 billion Prelude project.

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Woodside halts Australian LNG project

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By Daniel J. Graeber: March 23, 2016

PERTH, Australia, March 23 (UPI) — Australian energy company Woodside said it was putting a hold on the development of its Browse liquefied natural gas project because of market conditions.

Woodside said that, even with front-end engineering and design work completed, weak economic and market conditions meant it was necessary to put a hold on the $50 billion facility.

“We have undertaken a comprehensive and rigorous process to assess all elements of the development,” Woodside CEO Peter Coleman said in a statement. “The decision represents a disciplined approach to large-scale capital investment and is consistent with our requirements for a development concept to be commercially robust across a range of scenarios.”

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Woodside Petroleum drops $40 billion Browse floating LNG project

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Angela Macdonald-SmithEnergy Reporter: 23 March 2016

Woodside Petroleum chief executive Peter Coleman is turning a keener eye to potential acquisitions after a decision by the Browse joint venture to ditch a $40 billion-plus floating LNG project freed up the company to chase “attractive” assets.

The indefinite deferral of the Browse project off the north-west coast was forced by the collapse in oil prices, which created an “extremely challenging external environment” for the huge project despite work done to reduce costs, Woodside said.

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Shell, PetroChina suffer $1.4bn Arrow Energy hit

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  • Matt Chambers
  • The Australian
  • March 18, 2016 12:00AM

Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 08.47.47Oil giants Shell and PetroChina have been forced into a further $1.4 billion writedown on their Arrow Energy coal-seam gas joint venture in Queensland after drilling in the Bowen Basin failed to deliver expected results and has delayed the project. 

The writedowns, revealed in annual accounts filed with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission, came with an indefinite delay to the Bowen Basin project and 150 job losses at the joint venture company, which was formed in 2010 to acquire the then ASX-listed Arrow for $3.5bn.

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Woodside Appoints Former Shell Senior Executive Ann Pickard as Director

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Monday, February 29, 2016

Woodside Petroleum Ltd. announced Monday that its Board has appointed Ann Pickard as a non-executive director effective Feb. 29. Pickard joins Woodside as an independent director.

Woodside Chairman Michael Chaney said that Pickard had significant international business experience.

“The directors are delighted that we have been able to attract a person of Ms Pickard’s background and experience to the company’s Board,” Chaney said.

On Feb. 1 Pickard retired from Royal Dutch Shell plc, where she held numerous positions during her 15-year tenure with the company. Before her retirement from Shell, Pickard served as executive vice president, Arctic and was responsible for Shell’s Arctic exploration efforts. This followed three years as Executive Vice President of Shell’s Exploration and Production business and Country Chair of Shell in Australia, and five years as Executive Vice President, Africa. Pickard joined Shell in 2000 after an 11-year tenure with Mobil prior to its merger with Exxon.

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Job cuts put Shell’s Perth HQ move in shade

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Insiders expect a couple of hundred positions to be cut once Shell merges its Australian corporate function with BG’s presence, which is centred on the QGC division in Queensland.

Shell chief executive Ben van Beurden, who will attend the LNG18 conference in Perth in April, has flagged 2800 post-takeover job cuts worldwide.

“Today we will see the birth of what will be undoubtedly the best company in our industry,” Mr van Beurden said on Monday, when the takeover was completed.

Shell spokesman Paul Zennaro yesterday declined to comment on the number and timing of cuts in Australia, where the enlarged Anglo-Dutch giant has a workforce of 2500 to 3000.

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Job losses loom as Shell completes BG takeover

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While the majority of the 2800 job losses are likely to be in the pair’s London head offices, Shell’s local Perth headquarters and BG’s Brisbane corporate offices are expected to take a substantial hit.

Matt Chambers: FEBRUARY 16, 2016

With the $90 billion takeover of BG Group finally complete, Royal Dutch Shell will restructure its Australian business, resulting in job losses, probably running into the hundreds, in Brisbane and Perth.

The oil major says no decisions have been made on numbers of job cuts that will be made locally, despite in December saying 2800 jobs would go worldwide as a result of the biggest oil takeover in more than a decade.

Shell Australia chairman Andrew Smith says there has been no change to the logic of the deal, which will see Shell take control of the $US20bn Queensland Curtis LNG project, the first of three big LNG projects to export from Gladstone.

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Shell Needs To Divest Assets In Order To Afford BG Deal

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Screen Shot 2016-01-16 at 10.15.56By Andy Tully: 2 FEB 2016

Royal Dutch Shell is selling even more assets as it tries to cope with the persistent fall in the price of oil and its controversially expensive merger with BG group, approved last week by the shareholders of both companies.

In a statement Monday in London, the Anglo-Dutch oil giant said it plans to sell its 51 percent stake in the Shell Refining Co. (SRC) to Malaysian Hengyuan International Limited for $66.3 million. This is in addition to Shell’s sale of its marketing operations in Denmark and Norway, its liquid petroleum gas business in France and one-third of its shares in its Japanese arm, Showa Shell Sekiyu KK.

Shell also has recently sold off refining operations in Australia and Italy, as well as some of its retail outlets in Britain.

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Shell shareholders approve $50 billion BG takeover

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Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 09.03.45THE HAGUE | BY KAROLIN SCHAPSWed Jan 27, 2016 1:56pm GMT

Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) shareholders approved its $50 billion takeover of BG Group (BG.L) on Wednesday, clearing the last main hurdle to creating the biggest liquefied natural gas (LNG) trader in the world.

BG shareholders are also expected to approve one of the biggest deals in the energy sector in the past decade at a meeting on Thursday, a vote that would allow the two oil and gas companies to merge on Feb. 15.

Few investors have openly challenged the deal’s strategic benefits for Shell. But with oil languishing near $30 a barrel and only a slow recovery forecast, some had questioned the viability of a deal that would increase Shell’s debt burden.

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Shell’s BG Deal Gets Backing of Shareholder Advisory Firm

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By Rakteem Katakey: Jan 8, 2016: Bloomberg.com 

Royal Dutch Shell Plc has won the backing for its takeover of BG Group Plc from a body that advises many of its largest shareholders.

Shell’s biggest ever deal has “compelling strategic rationale” and “significant positive economics to be realized within a relatively short time frame,” Institutional Shareholder Services said in a report dated Thursday. “Support for this transaction is warranted.”

Shell is on the brink of pulling off its biggest acquisition, but oil’s collapse to less than $35 a barrel from about $55 on the day the deal was announced in April has prompted some investors to question whether the company is paying too much. The energy producer has justified the deal by saying it would boost its ability to maintain dividends, make it the world’s largest LNG producer and give it new assets from Australia to Brazil.

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Shell to take axe to spending, jobs after $US53b BG Group takeover

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BG Group’s Queensland Curtis LNG project will be owned by Shell after the takeover.

Angela Macdonald-Smith: Energy Reporter: 23 Dec 2015

Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell has told shareholders the $US53 billion takeover of BG Group will act as a “springboard to change and reshape” the group, and outlined plans for job and spending cuts, as well as $US30 billion of asset sales that look certain to affect the business in Australia.

In a prospectus issued overnight for the takeover, which is heading for completion early next year, Shell cut expected capital expenditure for the merged group by $US2 billion to about $US33 billion, down 30 per cent from 2014 levels. It also slashed another $US1 billion from Shell’s own capex budget this year, dropping it to $US29 billion.

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Shell plans to complete BG merger by Feb. 15, cuts spending plan

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LONDON | BY RON BOUSSO AND KAROLIN SCHAPS: Tue Dec 22, 2015 12:09 EST

Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) said on Tuesday it planned to complete its proposed $53 billion takeover of BG Group (BG.L) by Feb. 15, outlining plans for further spending cuts next year in the face of low oil prices.

Shell also lowered the capital spending plan for next year for the combined group by $2 billion to $33 billion, saying it would bolster its ability to weather the industry’s downturn and to maintain dividend payments.

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Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 08.55.47Published at 11:00AM – 19/12/15

Shell’s giant Prelude FLNG project is nearing completion, as the oil and gas supermajor releases an updated video of the project.

Shell Prelude FLNG

Prelude LNG project, will be located 200 miles (322km) offshore Western Australia, in an area known as the Browse basin, in 820 feet (250m) of water.

The project is centred around the giant Prelude FLNG vessel, currently under construction in South Korea.

The 488 metre (1,601 ft) long, 74 metre (243 ft) wide vessel is part of an overall project, that includes vast subsea infrastructure and technological breakthroughs, that has cost Shell and partners an estimated US$12.6 billion.

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This Oil Giant Is Going to Slash Thousands of Jobs

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Royal Dutch Shell expects to slash thousands more jobs to save costs if its takeover of BG Group goes through as planned early next year following a final green light from China.

The acquisition, which was announced on April 8 and is biggest in the sector in a decade, has been cleared by China’s Ministry of Commerce, Shell said on Monday, after earlier approvals from Australia, Brazil, and the European Union.

Shell RDS.A -1.32% and BG LON: BG will now send a merger prospectus to shareholders and hold special general meetings for votes on the deal. If approved, it will face a court hearing 10 days later and could be completed by early February.

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SHELL NEDERLAND APPOINTS FIRST EVER FEMALE CEO

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Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 08.55.47Dec 8, 2015 by Janene Pieters

As of January 1st Marjan van Loon will be the first ever female CEO of Shell Nederland. On Monday the oil and gas group announced that current CEO Dick Benschop will take another role within Shell International on the same date.

“Marjan brings a wealth of experience and expertise to fill this important position” managing director Ben van Beurden said, according to news wire ANP.

Van Loon, 49, started working for Shell 26 years ago. Since 2009 she’s filled the roll of vice president of LNG & Gas Processing, where she is responsible, among other things, for the largest ship, the Prelude, which serves as a gasworks far off the western coast of Australia.

Benschop was CEO of Shell Nederland from May 1st, 2012. In his new position he will be responsible for better management of collaborations over which Shell does not have direct control – joint ventures in which the company has minority interests.

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OPEC ‘dead’ as oil countries go it alone on price and production

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December 7, 2015

OPEC has abandoned all pretence of acting as a cartel. It’s now every member for itself.

At a chaotic meeting Friday in Vienna that was expected to last four hours but extended to nearly seven, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries tossed aside the idea of limiting production to control prices. Instead, it went all in for the one-year-old Saudi Arabia-led policy of pumping, pumping, pumping until rivals – external, such as Russian and US shale drillers, as well as internal – are squeezed out of market share.

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LNG market seen in worse state than oil

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“The oil market is not so bad,” Dr Fesharaki said. “LNG is far worse.”

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Angela Macdonald-SmithEnergy Reporter: 7 Dec 2015

The crude oil market is seen as being in dire straits, but liquefied natural gas is much worse, according to experts.

Hanging as a dark cloud over the market for the next several years are large volumes of LNG from committed US export projects that have firm sales contracts but have yet to be sold to end-users.

Consultancy FGE says between 25 million and 35 million tonnes of the 65 million tonnes a year of US LNG export capacity under construction has been sold to “middle men”, traders or portfolio LNG players such as BG Group or Mitsubishi, that still need to sell the gas on.

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Shell Has Underperformed, But It Could Be The Only Oil Major That Emerges Bigger From The Downturn

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Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 08.55.47…the company’s profits plummeted 70% from last year to $1.77 billion…

Sarfaraz A. Khan: Sunday, Dec 6, 2015

Summary

  • The oil major Royal Dutch Shell is closing in on its biggest-ever merger with the UK based oil and gas producer BG Group.
  • Shell has been the worst performing stock in its peer group and now offers an above average yield of 7.8%.
  • But Shell is generating enough cash from operations and asset sales to cover its spending.
  • More importantly, Shell could be the only oil major that emerges even bigger from the downturn.

The oil major Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS.A) (NYSE:RDS.B) is closing in on its biggest ever merger with the UK based oil and gas producer BG Group (OTCQX:BRGYY). On Wednesday, the Anglo-Dutch oil producer revealed that it has received a green signal from Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board following an approval from the country’s anti-trust regulator received last month. The BG Group is one of the major players in Australia’s rising LNG sector where the company has invested more than $20 billion on developing the Queensland Curtis LNG plant.

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Gas Wars Down Under Finally Come To An End: Shell-BG Group Tie-Up Gets Green Light

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Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben Van Beurden addresses a keynote speech during the World Gas Conference in Paris on June 2, 2015. Photo Credit:  ERIC PIERMONT/AFP/Getty Images)

Tim Daiss, CONTRIBUTOR: DEC 4, 2015

The proposed $70 billion Shell-BG Group mega deal, one of the largest energy deals in a decade, is now a reality, at least in Australia.

On Thursday, the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) gave the green light to the energy tie-up. The deal has already received regulatory approval in the US, EU and Brazil, while regulatory approval from Chinese authorities is still pending, but expected to be granted. The FIRB approval comes just two weeks after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the country’s competition regulator, approved the deal.

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Shell seeks $7 bln credit facility ahead of BG deal -sources

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LONDON | BY RON BOUSSO: Bonds | Thu Dec 3, 2015

Dec 3 Royal Dutch Shell is seeking to secure a $7 billion credit facility in north America as back-up for its $70 billion acquisition of BG Group, sources said on Thursday.

U.S. bank JP Morgan Chase is arranging the facility, which will involve up to 20 banks and institutional investors, according to sources close to the matter.

The facility will be used as a “back-up” for funds already raised to finance the deal, according to one source.

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Shell wins final Australian approval for BG Group takeover

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By Ashley Armstrong: 03 Dec 2015

Shell’s £55bn takeover of BG has been cleared by Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board, handing the deal its penultimate approval from global regulators.

The green light from FIRB for the deal comes after Australia’s competition authorities also approved the deal last month, and follows success with regulators in the US, EU and Brazil.

There has been mounting scrutiny of the rationale for pressing ahead with the takeover while oil prices remain so supressed.

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Markets | Thu Dec 3, 2015 1:11am EST

  • Deal still needs approval from China
  • Shell says deal on track to be completed in early 2016
  • Australia imposes condition to prevent tax disputes 

By Sonali Paul

MELBOURNE, Dec 3 Royal Dutch Shell on Thursday won approval from Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board for the company’s proposed $70 billion takeover of BG Group Plc, leaving China as the last regulatory hurdle to the deal.

The approval included an unusual condition designed to prevent disputes with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) with the merged group, amid Australia’s push to clamp down on profit shifting and tax avoidance by multinationals.

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